Joe Bonamassa - Driving Towards the Daylight

Joe Bonamassa
Driving Towards the Daylight
Provogue Records
Joe Bonamassa is a quite busy bluesman nowadays… playing, recording and touring but never standing still… especially now that he is on his prime. This is the lucky number 13 album for Joe. Kevin Shirley is here again by his side… making sure that everything’s gonna be the way it should. Kevin wanted to get the best out of Joe so he brought together a inimitable group of session musicians, including Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford, Blondie Chaplin (guitar), Anton Fig (drums and percussion), Arlan Schierbaum (keyboard), Michael Rhodes (bass), Carmine Rojas (bass), Jeff Bova and The Bovaland Brass, Pat Thrall (guitar), and Whitford’s son Harrison Whitford (guitar).
“Driving Towards the Daylight” features 3 new songs penned by Joe, 1 song written by Bernie Marsden (UFO, Babe Ruth, Whitesnake, Alaska) and 7 cover songs on some good oldies. I’m gonna make a special reference to each one of the songs below.
“Dislocated Boy” is the song that opens the album & was written by Joe. It’s very bluesy… with an internal Mississippi feeling and a rockin’ edge.
“Stones in My Passway” is one of the 29 original songs Robert Johnson recorded in his short-time career & life. Of course, it has a very tight up-to-date more rockin’ sound and the orchestration is brilliant.
The homonymous, “Driving Towards the Daylight”, is the hit of the album… possibly one of the catchiest songs Joe has written (along with Danny Kortchmar) to date… an amazing, captivating & moody melodic rockin’ semi-ballad!
“Who’s Been Talking” was originally written by the Howlin’ Wolf and included in the “Howlin’ Wolf” album, also known as “The Rockin' Chair Album” in 1962. Yeap, that Led Zeppelin-like riff… was originally played by harmonica… but ask yourself… is this the first time Zeppelin have “borrowed” a blues tune (mainly unknown) and made it their own… hmmm… no way… J
“I Got All You Need” was originally written by Willie Dixon but it was sung by Koko Taylor. Here we have a very modern and refined version of the original…
“A Place in My Heart” is a Gary Moore-like song… bluesy and sentimental with touching guitar leads. It was written by Bernie Marsden (UFO, Babe Ruth, Whitesnake, Alaska) and Joe added his own artistic touches on it. An excellent tribute song to the legendary Gary Moore.
“Lonely Town Lonely Street” is a Bill Withers song… Joe almost doubled its length… and presented his own enjoyable version…
“Heavenly Soul” is a drifting, beautiful rock song with a unique snappy & melodic ala John Mellencamp & Dire Straits vide.
“New Coat Of Paint” was written and performed by Tom Waits… but Joe’s version is so much alive and vibrant…
“Somewhere Trouble Don’t Go” was written by Buddy Miller… originally, it was written as a gospel tune… but here Joe presents his own up-tempo & rockin’ version of that song.
“Too Much Ain’t Enough Love” was originally included on Jimmy Barnes’ “Freight Train Heart” in 1987. It was penned by Barnes, Cain, Neal Schon, Randy Jackson & Tony Brock. A great melodic rock song with a bluesy touch… Joe pulls out the blues side of that song more… and also features the vocals by Jimmy Barnes himself! A perfect way to close the album with a very recognizable and gratifying tune like this one.
More or less this is what we all expect from Joe… a groovy, blues, rockin’ album with wonderful performances & cracking sound. I do not know why Joe chose to add so many cover songs on the album and not present newer ones… but I think that 3 songs out of 11 are far too few so as not to call this release a cover album eventually. Even though those covers are done cleverly… and Joe is delivering his own versions… we cannot bypass the fact that they are a bunch of songs that were written and published by other artists in the past. Nevertheless, “Driving Towards the Daylight” is an entertaining album that will please Joe’s fans around the world… catch him live on stage… whenever you have the chance as well…