|Today, superstar Joe Bonamassa has unveiled “Lazy Poker Blues,” the latest single from his forthcoming album Blues Deluxe Vol. 2. This rejuvenated classic, originally performed by Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, showcases Bonamassa’s deep reverence for the titans of British blues. “Now, again, there are two Fleetwood Macs, there’s the one my Mom really loved that had Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham in it, and then there’s the one that my Dad really loved, which had Peter Green in it,” Bonamassa quips. “It’s kind of where I cut my teeth, how I learned how to play the blues, how I learned how to play guitar…Those were my gateways to the masters.”
Blues Deluxe Vol. 2 is Bonamassa’s heartfelt tribute to the roots of his musical journey, breathing fresh life into classic tracks and encapsulating the blues genre’s evolution. Out October 6th via J&R Adventures, the album features two new originals and eight new covers spanning some of the most important names in the blues – from Bobby “Blue” Bland to Albert King. Also available for pre-order is the Platinum Edition Box Set (limited to 500 units worldwide), which includes the CD and Vinyl versions for both Vol. 2 and Blues Deluxe Remastered along with exclusive items.
“Part of my approach to these new recordings was that I wanted to see if I had matured musically over the years, and if I had gotten better as a player,” Bonamassa says. “I’m happy to say that I am a much better singer than I was 20 years ago – though I still don’t really consider myself to be a legit ‘singer,’ I can now carry a tune a little better than I could back then.”
The release of “Lazy Poker Blues” follows two standout singles from Blues Deluxe Vol. 2. “Twenty-Four Hour Blues,” a fiery reinterpretation of Bobby “Blue” Bland’s iconic track from the Dreamer album, boasts one of Bonamassa’s most potent vocal and guitar performances to date. The second single, “Well, I Done Got Over It,” pays tribute to Guitar Slim‘s 1953 release. Introduced to Slim’s work by his father during childhood, Bonamassa was instantly captivated by his velvety voice and unique delivery. The new version fuses the styles of the Blues Breakers and Guitar Slim, creating a unique blend that Bonamassa masterfully delivers.
Featuring Reese Wynans (keys), Calvin Turner (bass), Lamar Carter (drums), Kirk Fletcher (guitar), and Josh Smith (guitar), additional highlights from Blues Deluxe Vol. 2 include “I Want To Shout About It,” originally performed by Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters, “It’s Hard But It’s Fair” by Bobby Parker, and “Is It Safe To Go Home,” a new track written for Joe by Josh Smith. “I knew I wanted to push him really hard vocally,” Smith adds. “I’d heard him sing things just messing around or when we’d be producing for other artists that I’d never heard him do on record. So the songs were both chosen and written with that in mind. If you listen to the vocals on “Twenty-Four Hour Blues” and “Is It Safe To Go Home,” you’ll hear Joe really going for it.”
Bonamassa’s 2023 summer run included his debut appearance at Hollywood Bowl on Wednesday, August 9th. The exclusive, one-night-only concert experience alongside an orchestra was recorded for his next live concert film. The summer tour ends this weekend with “Keeping the Blues Alive presents: Joe Bonamassa & Friends,” featuring special guests Styx and Don Felder, formerly of the Eagles. The special two-night performance run will stop at Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater on Saturday, August 12th and Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on Sunday, August 13th. Then, the hardest working bluesman in show business will begin his U.S. Fall Tour on October 23rd at The Cannon Center in Memphis, TN, before crisscrossing the country and capping the year at the guitar-shaped Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, FL on December 2nd.
Bonamassa’s spring 2024 tour will include performances in historic venues like the Count Basie Center For The Arts in Red Bank, NJ on February 23rd and the Saenger Theatre in Pensacola, FL on March 7th, before culminating with Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea IX, set for March 18-24, departing from Miami, Florida to Cozumel, Mexico. The festival line-up includes Grace Potter, The Marshall Tucker Band, John Oates, Jimmy Vivino, King King, and a special performance by Black Country Communion, Bonamassa’s supergroup with Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH), Jason Bonham (LED ZEPPELIN) and Derek Sherinian (DREAM THEATER, ALICE COOPER, BILLY IDOL). KTBA at Sea is one of the largest fundraisers for Bonamassa’s Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation, aiding in its mission to promote music education by providing grants and resources to schools and musicians in need.
Photo credit: Adam Kennedy
Cited by Guitar World as “arguably the world’s biggest blues guitarist,” Bonamassa is known for taking risks and venturing into uncharted territory throughout his wide-ranging career. His last recent full-length Time Clocks marked his most raw, rocking studio album yet, with American Songwriter sharing, “Bonamassa pushes into fresh territory while staying within a blues-based framework,” and “there is more than enough proof in this sprawling set that Bonamassa doesn’t intend to rest on his laurels or take his star status in the blues-rock genre for granted.”