GRAMMY-nominated guitar superstar Joe Bonamassa announces today his brand new solo album Different Shades Of Blue (J&R Adventures)to be released September 23, 2014. This is Bonamassa’s first studio album in two years and the first album of his career to feature all original material. The result is a record with more of an experimental edge than previous Bonamassa records. It’s a blues record that explores the outer reaches and the many different sounds that shape the genre.
Combining sessions that blues pianist Sunnyland Slim and blues guitarist Johnny Shines recorded separately on the same day in Chicago in 1968 for the Blue Horizon imprint, this interesting little set shows two blues veterans doing what it was they did, which was, in part, to push and pull the Delta blues one small step closer to being in the modern urban world. The Slim sides, several of which are new to digital disc, are a bit more interesting than the Shines sides, but only by degree. Slim's songs can appear on the surface to be tossed-off exercises in the usual blues clichés, but they were actually carefully written, while Shines worked similar territory, giving old blues figures a slightly ironic twist. Since both played at one time or another with Robert Johnson, and both straddle the old and new worlds of the blues as it transfigured into an electric and urban form, it makes perfect sense to stick these two sessions together in one package.
The Martin Hayes Quartet expands on many of the musical ideas pursued by Martin in his longstanding partnership with Dennis Cahill. The melody still remains central but now with an added range of sonic possibilities provided by the bass clarinet and viola d'amore. The addition of these instruments creates an added aural texture and amplifies the rhythmic possibilities while also allowing a larger role for improvisation. Both Doug and Liz bring a wealth of musical experience that contributes to the spacious, rich arrangements of the Quartet.