Joe Bonamassa - Royal Tea album review

Joe Bonamassa
(Image credit: Supplied)

Royal Tea

For solo album #14, Joe Bonamassa looks far beyond the boundaries of the blues and taps into a much statelier, more overtly theatrical well of inspiration. 

Strings bubble and brew alongside the rich and reverberant howl of his electric leads; big, roaring solos and viciously fat jam sections (where we come about as close as we will to hearing Bonamassa’s take on heavy metal) are met with drum passages and backing lines nothing short of epic. 

It’s impressive, too, the way he leaps from style to style – in the opening cut alone, we get everything from orchestral grandeur to blistering rock ‘n’ roll, twangy southern soul and folk balladry. 

This is, without a doubt, the best we’ve heard from the New York virtuoso in at least a decade – we anxiously await its inevitable live reproduction.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Ellie Robinson
Editor-at-Large, Australian Guitar Magazine

Ellie Robinson is an Australian writer, editor and dog enthusiast with a keen ear for pop-rock and a keen tongue for actual Pop Rocks. Her bylines include music rag staples like NME, BLUNT, Mixdown and, of course, Australian Guitar (where she also serves as Editor-at-Large), but also less expected fare like TV Soap and Snowboarding Australia. Her go-to guitar is a Fender Player Tele, which, controversially, she only picked up after she'd joined the team at Australian Guitar. Before then, Ellie was a keyboardist – thankfully, the AG crew helped her see the light…