Joe Bonamassa made a name for himself with his driving style of blues guitar and high energy music. So what happens when you take that away? Bonamassa treated an audience to just that in July 2012 and he’s chronicled that performance on his new 2 CD set An Acoustic Evening At The Vienna Opera House. Gone are the variety of effects he uses and the thick layers of rock laced blues, instead replaced by the strumming of an acoustic guitar and backing string instruments.
New layers emerge that once went unnoticed. The progression of “Dust Bowl” is so much clearer in this setting. He lets his Americana side loose on “Athens to Athens” with a washboard beat and a fiddle player to boot. The second CD leads off with an exploration of some of the best roots blues songs like Charley Patton’s “High Water Everywhere”, Robert Johnson’s “Stones In My Passway”, and Tom Waits’ “Jockey Full Of Burbon”.
The album takes Bonamassa’s fans a place they haven’t been before. Here, the music comes through a little clearer. You can see how his influences have shaped his songwriting and hear what he builds upon. Above all else, you hear how he keeps an audience’s attention and you feel like you are in the room watching his performance.