Joe Bonamassa announced today that his new studio album, Blues of Desperation, will be released March 25. The news was accompanied by a video trailer for the album, shown below.
Blues of Desperation will feature all-original material and showcase Bonamassa’s ongoing development as a blues guitarist.
“I just turned 38 years old and have been making solo records for 15 years,” Bonamassa says, “and decided that I can’t just keep using the same playbook. I have to challenge myself and start a new book.
“I’d rather make less records that were all original but wait for the good songs to come around.”
“I want people to hear my evolution as a blues-rock musician,” he continues, “somebody who isn’t resting on accomplishments and who is always pushing forward and thinking about how music can evolve and stay relevant.”
To push him in new areas of discovery, Bonamassa recorded without his Marshall amps for the first time. “I used all tweed Fender amps and forced myself to get the same sounds that I’ve always heard and always delivered, through other means,” he says. “I plugged, basically, straight into the amps and used these”—he holds up his hands—“and different tools to get different sounds.”
Bonamassa wrote Blues of Desperation in Nashville, where he composed his previous release, Different Shades of Blue. He worked with many of Music City’s top songwriters, including James House, Tom Hambridge, Jeffrey Steele, Jerry Flowers and Gary Nicholson.
“These are some of the best guys in the business,” Bonamassa notes. “Lyrically, you’ll hear the proverbial trains, mountains, valleys and other blues references about heartbreak and loneliness, but there are also some poignant moments about getting away from the stressful, crazy demands of life and losing yourself with your special someone. I think anybody will be able to relate.”
Bonamassa and his long-time producer Kevin Shirley tracked Blues of Desperation’s 11 songs at Nashville’s Grand Victor Sound Studios (formerly known as RCA Studio A) in an intense, five-day period. Among the artists featured on the album are bassist Michael Rhodes, keyboardist Reese Wynans, drummers Anton Fig and Greg Morrow, and horn players Lee Thornburg, Paulie Cerra and Mark Douthit. Background vocalists on the album include Mahalia Barnes, Jade McRae and Juanita Tippins.
Blues of Desperation can be preordered at MascotLabelGroup.com. The track list is below the trailer.