At the age of 36, Joe Bonamassa has put together quite the collection of material. With 10 studio albums in the can, several live albums/DVDs, and releases with Beth Hart and Black Country Communion, Bonamassa has certainly recorded some good songs. As a new studio album is set to be released this year, we break down Bonamassa’s top 10 songs to date.
“Prisoner” was the album closer on Dust Bowl and is a Barbra Streisand cover. The song saw Joe return to a Strat and features one of his best vocal performances. It’s clear producer Kevin Shirley challenged Joe on the track and Bonamassa rose to the occasion. Hopefully we’ll get the chance to hear the song live some day.
9. “Happier Times”
One of the standout tracks on The Ballad of John Henry, “Happier Times” has an alluring quality to it that just pulls the listener in. The song has top notch playing, vocals, and a fantastic arrangement.
8. “Woke Up Dreaming”
If you ever wanted to hear a song that really displayed Bonamassa’s guitar virtuosity, “Woke Up Dreaming” might be the place to start. The song was recorded for Blues Deluxe and is a highlight of the live show with Bonamassa playing solo on an acoustic. The live performance gives the listener a great appreciation for his playing.
7. “Blue and Evil”
“Blue and Evil” appeared on the Black Rock album and opens with an acoustic riff before blasting into a Zeppelin style rocker that would fit great on a Black Country Communion album.
6. “Just Got Paid”
Bonamassa’s take on ZZ Top’s “Just Got Paid” has become a staple of his live show and the perfect concert closer. The song flat out rocks and is a great display of Bonamassa’s rock prowess and guitar wizardry.
5. “Driving Towards The Daylight”
The title track from Bonamassa’s most recent album, “Driving Towards The Daylight” was the perfect choice for a single as his audience continues to grow. Surrounded by world class musicians, including Aerosmith’s Brad Whitford, the song is well crafted and helps push Bonamassa beyond being known as just a great guitarist, but also a strong songwriter.
4. “Song of Yesterday”
“Song of Yesterday” was written by Bonamassa for Black Country Communion’s debut album and was one of the group’s signature tunes with epic performances from entire band. The track also appeared on the group’s live album, Live Over Europe.
3. “Sloe Gin”
“Sloe Gin” was the title track on Bonamassa’s 2007 release and is a cover of the song originally recorded by Tim Curry. The track begins with a haunting intro and features a rip-roaring solo, a must hear tune live.
2. “The Ballad of John Henry”
“The Ballad of John Henry” is the song that helped launch Joe Bonamassa’s career to the next level. It was the title track from the album Bonamassa released months before his first performance at the Royal Albert Hall and features his most memorable guitar riff.
1. “Mountain Time”
“Mountain Time” originally appeared on the album So, It’s Like That and clocked in under four minutes. Since then, the song has evolved quite a bit into a ten minute plus epic. The song appeared in its more modern state on Live From Nowhere In Particular and has since appeared on following live recordings. “Mountain Time” is perhaps Bonamassa’s most soulful song with passionate vocals and an absolutely captivating and moving guitar solo that takes the listener to another place.
– Pete Francis