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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.