The Ballad Of John Henry review by Joe Bonamassa

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  • Released: Feb 24, 2009
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.3 (9 votes)
Joe Bonamassa: The Ballad Of John Henry

Sound — 10
I noticed that nobody has posted a review for this album yet it came out more than a year ago. After hearing Sloe Gin (2007) I thought how could this guy get any better or even match this album!? But Joe did it again and this album was well worth the 2 year wait! When I heard the previews of his new songs like the title track and The Great Flood, I thought, wow we are in for a great sounding album here! My predictions were correct. Every song has its own unique sound, its own unique flair, yet still manages to sound just like Joe intends them to sound.

01. The Ballad Of John Henry: this song is a cracking opener to the album and has a lot of creative guitar parts in it, the solo has steel sliding elemetns in it along with something so weird in the background the squeals at you haha!

02. Stop!: a cover of Jamelia's song several years ago, although was probably sung by somebody before her time. Has a lot of great sounding lead guitar parts in it, it is the perfect follow on from the first track!

03. Last Kiss: a blast from his older albums' sound here, still sounds good and fresh, doesn't stand out as much of the rest of them but is still a very good track.

04. Jockey Full Of Bourbon: what a weird track! Still sounds really good though when it kicks in. Ends up being about a bird or something ha! =]

05. Story Of A Quarryman: Joe's creativity shows here, the opening riff is pretty addictive and sounds great live too! He changes key for the solo which is a touch and go thing for me really. But stilla great track.

06. Lonesome Road Blues: probably the first really upbeat song on the album! A simple yet very effective blues song, plenty of guitar, plenty of rhythm, everything it needs =]

07. Happier Times: the album pretty much shifts mood all of sudden here and yet is pulled off perfectly! The solo is the part of this song that really stands out for me, especially when I learnt most of it and played along to it with the lights out, what a cracking song!

08. Feelin' Good: Nina Simone's feelin' good was already a good song, then Muse made it better, now Joe has made it even better than Muse's version in my opinion. That is all I have to say on this track, it's great!

09. Funkier Than A Mosquito's Tweeter: a very obscure song yet with a great guitar riff and great lyrics! The solo is exceptional and stands out just as much as on Happier times. Simply an awesome song!

10. The Great Flood: This track seems purposefully put here to calm the album down. Probably one of my favourites on the album. The solo is epic! The lyrics are simple yet catchy! The song is quite simply awesome!

11. From The Valley: another drastic mood shift in which Joe uses the E Major scale instead of the usual minor scale. He executes it brilliantly and stylishly! He manages to make an amazingly simple song into something of a masterpiece...

12. As The Crow Flies: follows on from the previous track in my eyes. In the same noted key but back to minor. It's a perfect upbeat song to close the album off!

Lyrics — 9
Joe's lyrics on this album are simply great and never falter in creativity on the songs he has penned himself. His voice is the usual grainy and full sounding blues voice! He's great! Every song seems to tell a different story. It's simply classic Joe Bonamassa...

Overall Impression — 9
Joe Bonamassa is a musical genius, let's face it... If this album was stolen I would personally hunt down the thief with a carving knife haha! The most impressive songs have to be tracks 5, 7, 9, 10... In fact they're all just great! A fraction away from being as good as Sloe Gin... But still Fucking awesome!

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    FYI the song Stop was sung by Sam Brown back in 1986. A great song that Joe managed to make his own which sounds remarkable!