Joe Bonamassa's new solo studio album, "Royal Tea", inspired by his British heroes Jeff Beck, JOHN MAYALL & THE BLUESBREAKERS, Eric Clapton, LED ZEPPELIN and CREAM, was recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios and will be released on October 23 via J&R Adventures. Bonamassa also surprised his fans this past Friday with his latest single, "Why Does It Take So Long To Say Goodbye".
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. "Royal Tea" brings Bonamassa full circle.
"This whole adventure," admits Joe, "was a bucket-list thing for me." This album reconnects the 43-year-old with the guitar-slinging kid from upstate New York, who stumbled across the best of British blues music in his dad's vinyl collection — whose influences have shaped him to be the player he is today. "I would have been about twelve years old, and it was the sound I heard in my head. Like, 'Okay, I'm in. That's what I want to be'."
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).
Alongside the announcement of the "Royal Tea" album, Bonamassa revealed today that he will perform a special livestream concert from the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee on September 20. This concert will feature the songs from his new album before the official release. Joe has never performed a full, unreleased album for audiences like this before, giving fans from around the world the opportunity to come together for an unforgettable night of blues-rock music. Along with "Royal Tea", he'll perform classic remixes from his 20th-anniversary album "A New Day Now". The evening will continue with a one-hour "After Party" featuring several live performances from an array of some of the hottest rising stars in blues-rock music.
The livestream tickets and packages for "Joe Bonamassa Live In Concert Worldwide" presented by Keeping The Blues Alive are available for purchase at this location.
There are a variety of pricing levels available for fans worldwide to be a part of this special "audience." Tickets to the livestream event starts at $20. Fans may also purchase a $35 all-access pass which includes access to the livestream event on September 20, the "Royal Tea" digital album available on October 23, and a one-year all pass for Bonamassa's on-demand service which includes more than 17 concert releases from Joe Bonamassa, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION and ROCK CANDY FUNK PARTY — available at any time on most devices.
As part of this unique concert event, fans also have the option to purchase a commemorative VIP ticket giving them an experience they will never forget. VIP ticket holders will have their photo printed out and placed in a seat at the legendary Ryman Auditorium as part of Joe's audience for that special night. VIPs will also get a picture of Joe with his "audience" which will be sent to them via email to keep. The VIP ticket holder's name will also be included in the credits at the end of the live stream event, as well as being included in the upcoming DVD credits for this performance!
This one-of-a-kind concert is presented by Bonamassa's non-profit, Keeping The Blues Alive foundation (KTBA). Each ticket purchase will include a $1 donation to Joe's Fueling Musicians program, which to date has raised over $295,000 and has supported more than 163 musicians in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While much of the applause Bonamassa receives should be credited to his sheer talent, some part of his success needs to be attributed to Joe and his business partner for having the foresight and ability to become some of music's savviest entrepreneurs. Bonamassa now 43, and his partner Roy Weisman have together devised a 360-degree independent business model that has survived and thrived during one of the music industry's most uncertain eras, particularly considering the challenges created by the current pandemic.
Bonamassa's "Royal Tea" and "A New Day Now" follow his instrumental side project called THE SLEEP EAZYS, who released their stunning debut album, "Easy To Buy, Hard To Sell", earlier this year. The album, which the Associated Press touted as making "instrumental dreams," was produced by Bonamassa and features some of his frequent collaborators, along with his all-star touring band. THE SLEEP EAZYS project is Joe's second time in the studio as a producer, after Reese Wynans' long-awaited debut solo album "Sweet Release".
In addition, Joe continues to crank out weekly programming for Sirius XM's Bluesville channel for his radio show "Different Shades Of Blue". More recently, he kicked off a new at-home weekly interview series "Live From Nerdville" on his Facebook and YouTube page, featuring episodes with Neal Schon of JOURNEY, John Oates of HALL & OATES, Glenn Hughes, Paul Stanley of KISS, Warren Haynes, Keb' Mo', Walter Trout and esteemed singer-songwriter Dion. On June 5, Bonamassa released music icon Dion's critically-acclaimed new album "Blues With Friends" on his and his manager Roy Weisman's new record label Keeping The Blues Alive Records and Dion's first single "Blues Comin' On" also features Bonamassa on slide guitar.
"Royal Tea" track listing:
01. When One Door Opens
02. Royal Tea
03. Why Does It Take So Long To Say Goodbye
04. Lookout Man!
05. High Class Girl
06. A Conversation With Alice
07. I Didn't Think She Would Do It
08. Beyond The Silence
09. Lonely Boy
Photo credit: Robert Sutton