Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Joe Bonamassa is Clocking Time

Joe Bonamassa has announced a brand-new studio album, Time Clocks, due out on 29th October through Provogue. ‘Time Clocks’ featuring a raw and vital flavour soundwise.

“What started out with the intentions of being a trio record turned into probably my most adventurous and involved record to date,” explained Bonamassa. His long-time producer Kevin Shirley added, “I think Joe Bonamassa has made an album that is truly transitional. From a blues musician to a superstar artist, [and] I’m so thrilled to be along for the ride.” The pair brought on the legendary Bob Clearmountain to mix the epic tracks, who himself declared, “This is one of the best albums I’ve mixed in years. Joe is not only one of the finest blues and rock guitarists of our time, he’s also a brilliant songwriter, [which is] impressively apparent on this record.”

Recorded in New York City, the album is said to rediscover Bonamassa at a newfound peak with heartfelt song-writing and an unparalleled blues bock prowess. Time Clocks continues the guitarist’s ongoing evolution, bending genres, breaking down walls and defying the odds of the music industry. He’s known as “the man in the suit”, loved by many as the ultimate guitar hero, cited by critics as “the world’s biggest blues guitarist” (Guitar World), and as one of today’s most in-demand touring acts “the road has been long and winding, but the rough journey has moulded his craft into gold”.

The band members include Steve Mackey (bass), Lachy Doley (piano), Bunna Lawrie (didgeridoo), Bobby Summerfield (percussion), and Anton Fig (drums and percussion), along with Mahalia Barnes, Juanita Tippins and Prinnie Stevens on backing vocals. The album artwork was created by famous graphic artist Hugh Syme (Rush, Aerosmith, Whitesnake). 

Recently Bonamassa dropped hints of the new album with his reeling anthem Notches, and now he’s released another blues-heavy single, ‘The Heart That Never Waits’, that you can watch the video to right here at RAMzine and stream here.

Looking back on recording during the covid pandemic, and the original intention behind the album, Bonamassa reflected, “Twenty years ago, I recorded a record of covers that eventually was called Blues Deluxe. It was recorded at Bobby Nathan’s studio in Manhattan. It captured an energy and purpose that always stuck with me as an artist. I lived in New York City at the time and times were pretty tough. My weekly routine was a combination of hustling sessions, gigs, and opportunities that seemed few and far between. I was hungry. Literally and figuratively. The music business is tough, very tough. Especially back in those days when major labels pulled all the strings and, in my case, all the punches. I subsisted on a basic diet of peanut butter and jelly and ramen noodles, purchased at the bodega on the corner of 83rd and Columbus Avenue.

“Cut to 2019 and I find myself back in New York and inspired by the city again. My living conditions had changed dramatically in the subsequent 20 years, but the energy that makes New York City great still remained.  

In February 2021, we found ourselves at Germano Studios, cutting music as a trio (but not trio music) and having to invent ways of making records when your lifelong producer is stuck in Australia due to travel restrictions. Kevin Shirley came up with a way of linking continents and consoles to where we had literally zero latency. Add Steve Mackey and Anton Fig to the mix, a few masks and curse words and we have the New York Record aka Time Clocks.

Time Clocks 
will also be Bonamassa’s first album mixed to utilise spatial audio with Dolby Atmos and available for fans on Apple Music. Bob Clearmountain noted, “the Atmos version is simply breathtaking.”

Tracks featured on Time Clocks are: ‘Pilgrimage’, ‘Notches’, ‘The Heart That Never Waits’, ‘Time Clocks’, ‘Questions And Answers’, ‘Mind’s Eye’, ‘Curtain Call’, ‘The Loyal Kind’, ‘Hanging On A Loser’ and ‘Known Unknowns’.

Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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