The Grammy nominated artists BETH HART & JOE BONAMASSA will release their new record ‘Black Coffee’ on January 26th via: Provogue (Europe) and J&R Adventures (USA & Canada)
The disc will feature songs made famous by Edgar Winter, Ray Charles, Etta James, Steve Marriot, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Lucinda Williams, LaVern Baker & more…
It’s been four years since their Grammy nominated, number one blues album Seesaw and since then both well-beloved artists have been working hard in their respective solo studio and stage careers.
So, the time was perfect to get together for another collection of soul, jazz & blues treasures that embrace Hart’s exciting vocals and Joe’s irrepressible and irrefutably masterful guitar.
Black Coffee will be released on January 26th , 2018.
Produced by Kevin Shirley and recorded in a mere five days at the Palms, Las Vegas in August 2016 the duo have once again called-on famous names to help : World-class musicians include: Anton Fig (Drums/Percussion), Ron Dziubla (Saxophone), Lee Thornburg (Horn Arrangements/Trumpet/Trombone) and Reese Wynans (Keyboards), Michael Rhodes (Bass), Rob McNelley (Rhythm Guitar), Paulie Cerra (Saxophone), Mahalia Barnes (Backing Vocals), Jade Macrae (Backing Vocals) and Juanita Tippins (Backing vocals).
Kevin Shirley says, about the band, “Those guys just played live and it was incredible to be in the studio when that happens.”
“For me I’m able to explore the kind of music I have always admired from afar,” explained Bonamassa.
“But you don’t want to hear me singing Ella Fitzgerald…”
“I would never do Ella Fitzgerald without being with Joe,” replies Hart.
“The things I get to do with [him] are things I grew up always wanting to do, but never believed I could.”
“It’s really predicated on the vocals,” Bonamassa further explains. “We can’t cut these tunes without Beth singing and once she starts singing, it’s the glue that inspires us to get the extra 10% out of the playing. If we just cut them and sang later, the magic wouldn’t be there.”
We had a listen:
Cotton Club hip-shaker “Saved” is a hoochie, big band number and filled with flapping Betty Boop sassiness, spit-balls of zappy rhythm and jump-jiving’ emancipated vocals. Originally performed by Chicago singer LaVern Baker (1961) and covered by Elvis, Brenda Lee, Billy Fury and Elkie Brooks, this is the cat’s meow!
Another LaVern Baker number, the sweetly swaying “Soul on Fire” is performed with more tonsilled vibrato than should be considered street-legal and a rich oloratura that runs so thick and heavy with timbre you might feel it glue you down.
Hart’s dugazon nuances reveal all the imperative grizzly vociferation that’s needed when the time is right. And the reverberating guitars burn so bright they would fry the face of God. You have here a fitting homage to Baker’s first ever solo release.
The sensual clout of Lucinda Williams “Joy” has a domineering groove.
And “Damn Your Eye” that’s been taken from the Etta James 1988 comeback record, “Seven Year Itch” [written by Bogard & Wyrick] has a billowy cascade of guitars that immediately pushes forward to manhandle any discontented lour right out of a girl’s hair.
Sure, Hart growls her words like a bighearted tiger-kitten in love, but as the beats are thrown abruptly aside to prepare for yet another broadside of radiating, white hot licks from Bonamassa, we ask ourselves… should dolour burn with such pain? Well, if the result is as effective and fun as this — then the answer is yes…
Ike & Tina Turner’s “Black Coffee” runs and sways like a rum-runner chasing the waves as it avoids the revenue cutter. And like any blind-tiger, moonshine number, this has ramshackle rhythms, a stained guitar and the kind of perfectly executed, juddering, gospel-styled vocal fizz that ignites your bones just before the whole song enters your soul.
This album proves, yet again, that Beth Hart is an extraordinarily effective mezzo-alto shouter and the smooth-man of the blues-rock guitar — Joe Bonamassa — can be a brawling, hot-tempered ham-boner when it’s required of him.
This is the creme de la creme of inspiration and respect…
Words: @neilmach 2017 ©
Black Coffee will be released on January 26th , 2018
BLACK COFFEE is available to pre-order on CD and vinyl. The limited CD box includes 2 coasters, a postcard and an exclusive bonus track. The vinyl includes a different bonus track and a code for a complimentary MP3 download of the album.