Joe Bonamassa is planning to make a “subway record” in New York City

Joe Bonamassa performs at Alcatraz on February 28, 2013 in Milan, Italy
(Image credit: Sergione Infuso/Corbis via Getty Images)

Joe Bonamassa only recently returned from London’s Abbey Road Studios, where he cut his newest album, Royal Tea. But the blues electric guitar great is already scheduling his next on-location session, with a plan to head to New York City in late March to record what he calls a “subway record.”

To be clear, Bonamassa does not plan to actually record below ground with the trains – although it would be rather awesome if he did. Rather, he wants to cut a stripped-down effort that captures the energy of the city.

“We are making a record in New York City in late March, and it is basically going to be a ‘subway record’ – a couple of guitars, a couple of amps,” he told MusicRadar.

He went on to say that while Royal Tea was tracked with an abundance of guitars and amps at his disposal, the New York City record would feature a pared-down gear set.

“That’s just how I used to do it,“ Bonamassa said. “Take the subway down to the studio – cash and carry! The record’s in my world? Y’know, you’ve got production cases and I have a collection of guitars, and you have got all of these options, and it is almost too much.

“You don’t need half of it, and you end up just playing, ‘Yeah, whatever!’ Now, it's two amps, in case one blows up. Not two amps at a time, just in case one blows up. Add a couple of guitars and you’re good.”

While Bonamassa has yet to write the songs for the forthcoming album, he said he believes his choice of location “is going to influence the sound, like Abbey Road influenced the sound,“ he said. “I have always wanted to do a record in New York... And hopefully there is a New York [as we know it] by then!”

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.