Joe Bonamassa is carrying a lot on his shoulders. Aside from having grown up as a precocious 8 year old Stevie Ray Vaughan influenced guitarist, and a teenage prodigy, and then fronting the 'sons of rock and jazz stars', Bloodline, Joe now has to deal with the mantle of being the next big thing in the Rock Blues World.
But rather than becoming bogged down by such big expectations, Joe has been busy maturing his own style. Over little more than four years heís shifted almost imperceptibly from a fascination with late 60ís Rock Blues (from Cream, to Tull - hence the album title track) to a fine statement of his own intentions on the expansive ''Miss You, Hate You', and the tough funk rocking of 'Colour & Shape'
This album is already 4 years old, being recorded in December 2001 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. And on the evidence of this live set, it will surely not be too long before Joe shifts from Mid West America to major headline slots via sell out Euro tours.
That said, he is not there yet. His playing is excellent, from teasing out an awesome tone on the 'Jam Intro' track to the big stadium dynamics displayed on 'Walk In My Shadows'. Only his slightly nasal vocal style holds him back from having it all. But when you are still in your early 20ís and you are already being referred to as the future of this and that, thereís still has an aweful lot of living, playing and singing to be done.
Meanwhile this album will appeal to all lovers of the SRV/Walter Trout/Govít Mule guitar led rocking blues genre. On 'New Day Yesterday', Joe shows he can both burn out as on 'Cradle Rock' and wring out every last drop of blues as he does on 'If Heartaches Were Nickels'. By the time of the closing salvo on 'Donít Burn That Bridge' thereís an undeniable swagger born of concluding a 60 days tour, which will surely be the first of many more.