Joe Bonamassa Comes Alive On His Newest Record, “Live At The Hollywood Bowl With Orchestra” Set To Be Released On June 21, 2024



The legendary blues guitarist, Joe Bonamassa has had a busy start to his summer. Ahead of a full summer of touring, he also released a record with his Black Country Communion band titled V. One full week later, he is slated to release a solo live record titled Live At The Hollywood Bowl With Orchestra on June 21. The record was recorded at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and contains 11 songs of blues rock infused with a full, beautiful orchestra.

From the first notes of “When One Door Opens (Overture),” fans quickly realize that this is not an ordinary live record. The very first song is strictly the orchestra. The band is nowhere to be found on the two-minute track. This is the grand introduction to the amazing backing orchestra behind Bonamassa and his band.

The first song Bonamassa plays with the band is “Curtain Call,” originally from 2021’s Time Clocks. I remember when last summer I saw Bonamassa play with Styx and Don Felder – formerly of The Eagles – and I was completely blown away. Bonamassa’s infusion of classic blues with straightforward rock and roll is on a lone pedestal. I liked this song as the true first song on the record. It fits with the overall vibe.



There’s a certain hungryness on this live record that is apparent throughout the entire album. Sometimes on live records, it’s hard to capture the sound of the band without outside forces muffling the recordings. But, what Bonamassa and the recording team captured might be some of the cleanest recordings I’ve heard ever on a live record. Live At The Hollywood Bowl With Orchestra has such a crisp and sharp recording that listeners can’t help but smile.

Even though I usually am not a fan of long tracks (sorry Deadheads!) this record gets an exception. Take track three, “Self-Inflicted Wounds” for example. The softer, more mellow track has a run time of 7:56. But this monster of a song has everything that a music fan could want. With the help of the orchestra, there is such a dramatic build-up that it seems that this track is only fitting in a major motion picture.

One of my favorite songs off the album is song No. 4, “No Good Place For The Lonely.” This groovy James Bond-like tune was made to include a full orchestra. There is such a full sound from everyone on stage that chills are running down my spine as I write and listen to the record for a third time. Bonamassa delivers one of his best solos on the entire record at the six-minute mark. 

In comparison to the other songs on the record, track five, “Ball Peen Hammer,” is a short, quick, tune that guides right into another marathon song, “The Last Matador of Bayonne.” The track opens up with a horn before any other instruments kick in. This is when the orchestra becomes so useful. An artist can use all the different sounds at his or her disposal to make the most grand live record they can. This is what Bonamassa did here. The use of flutes, horns and even the castanets in the background is so enjoyable.



Track eight, “If Heartaches Were Nickles,” is the longest track on the entire record. Here, Bonamassa cements his voice as one of the most unique in blues rock. He has an aurora to his vocals that it’s near to impossible to picture anyone else singing but him. To back up Bonamassa on this track is one of his background vocalists whose vocals are top-notch. Bonamassa recently told Billboard that, when it came to his band members, “[They’re] better than me — all of them.” That’s an extremely high, yet necessary compliment to give. But Bonamassa has indeed surrounded himself with top-tier musicians that in turn, make him better.

As the record winds down to the final three songs, “The Ballad Of John Henry,” “Twenty-Four Hour Blues” and “Sloe Gin,” listeners will be begging for more. The combination between Bonamassa’s band and the orchestra is pure magic on tape. It would be a real treat if he was able to tour with an orchestra. Similar to what The Who did a few years back.



Bonamassa captured lighting in a bottle with Live At The Hollywood Bowl With Orchestra. It truly is a spectacular listen. The entire record, from the performance, to the legitimate recording is some of the best of the year. It will be hard for other bands to come close to the quality of this album. There is a beautiful harmony on this album between the band and the orchestra. When people talk about some of the greatest records of this year, Live At The Hollywood Bowl With Orchestra will have to be in that conversation.








1. When One Door Opens (Overture)

2. Curtain Call

3. Self-Inflicted Wounds

4. No Good Place For The Lonely

5. Ball Peen Hammer

6. The Last Matador of Bayonne

7. Prisoner

8. If Heartaches Were Nickles

9. The Ballad of John Henry

10. Twenty-Four Hour Blues

11. Sloe Gin



Joe Bonamassa’s Touring Band Is:

Joe Bonamassa – Lead Guitar/Lead Vocals

Reese Wynans – Piano/Keyboards

Josh Smith – Guitars

Lamar Carter – Drums

Calvin Turner – Bass

Jade MacRae – Background Vocals

Danni D’Andrea – Background Vocals






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