Joe Bonamassa's new solo studio album, "Royal Tea", hit the Billboard charts this week with record-breaking numbers, as the blues-rock titan landed his 24th No. 1 album on the Blues chart; an incredible feat and more than any other artist in the history of the chart. The critically acclaimed new album reigned over a slew charts this week, also hitting No. 5 on Top Current Albums, No. 6 on Top Albums, No. 6 on Independent Albums, No. 7 on Rock, No. 41 on the Billboard Top 200 and No. 48 on the Top Artist 100 chart.
"Royal Tea" is available now online and in stores from Bonamassa's own label J&R Adventures. Recorded at the iconic Abbey Road Studios in London, "Royal Tea" features honorable nods to his British heroes Jeff Beck, John Mayall & THE BLUESBREAKERS, Eric Clapton, LED ZEPPELIN and CREAM.
Bonamassa has snatched a career-best release with "Royal Tea", chalking up another chapter for the Abbey Road folklore, and finally delivering the album he's dreamt of since the start.
"The reason I wanted to come to Abbey Road was for myself, the band and the fans," Bonamassa says. "The P.T. Barnum in me was going, 'Hey, this would be a cool event.' It was a risk coming over here, and this album has fought us to get here. But I think we've pulled it off…"
Bonamassa is known for taking risks and venturing into uncharted territory throughout his wide-ranging career but now he has found a new way to surprise his fans and music lovers. Since his 2000 debut, "A New Day Yesterday", that founding influence has stayed close to the surface of Bonamassa's astounding solo album catalogue. Yet he's always let his choice of studio infuse his work, whether stirring the vibe of the Greek island of Santorini into 2010's "Black Rock", placing his bets on Sin City for 2014's Vegas-tracked "Different Shades Of Blue", or working with the cream of Nashville on 2016's "Blues Of Desperation".
"Where you record an album leaves a fingerprint on the music," he points out. "This album is a snapshot, too."
These ten original tracks were co-written by Joe and a cast of homegrown notables, including former WHITESNAKE guitarist Bernie Marsden, ex-CREAM lyricist Pete Brown and national-treasure piano man Jools Holland.
"Writing this record in London has done its job," reflects Bonamassa. "It really does sound inherently British. Bernie and I, we finish each other's sentences. We're cut from the same cloth." Bonamassa's long-standing producer Kevin Shirley and regular touring band flew in for the recording sessions, which included Anton Fig (drums), Michael Rhodes (bass) and Reese Wynans (keys).
Photo credit: Jim Herrington