Release Date: March 22nd, 2011
Reviewed By Evelyn Miska Krieger
Joe Bonamassa’s eleventh solo album is a fascinating piece of work. It isn’t so often anymore that listeners are treated to such a talented blues musician. Dust Bowl is an interesting mix of country-inspired blues while pulling in rock elements and even some international flavors. There will be a few tracks that might not appeal if you’re not much of a country fan, but the prevailing blues tracks will blow your mind.
“Slow Train” may not have been intentionally written with sex in mind, but the combination of Bonamassa’s vocals, the blues guitar and drums ooze sex appeal. This is the sort of track that just might make listeners cool by association. The slow, lazy tempo brings to mind hot and lazy summer days where all you want to do is sit outside fanning yourself and drinking a cold beer. “Tennessee Plates” features John Hiatt and is one of those wholeheartedly country tracks. The song is good but after a track as sizzling as “Slow Train” the honky tonk sound pales a bit in comparison.
One of the most interesting songs is “Black Lung Heartache” with it’s vaguely international influences and occasional Indian sounds. There are so many instrumental layers that the richness of the song is easy to overlook at first, but each listening will unearth new aspects to keep listeners intrigued. “The Last Matador of Bayonne” is another standout and it’s mournful sound has such depth and sadness that it is almost breathtaking at times. The guitar solo a little over halfway through is just a taste of what Bonamassa is capable of and even that is amazing.
Dust Bowl isn’t a quick listen, especially when most of the 12 tracks hit the five-minute mark. Even though it isn’t the musical equivalent of fast food, the album is worth having in your rotation to savor at your leisure.
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