Black Rock? Black Country? Τι βρωμίστε !

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March 23, 2010 by billie789

I don’t even want to start this post. Anyone care to jump in?

I took a dear friend’s suggestion, and $9.99 he so generously sent me, to buy Joe Bonamassa’s new CD, Black Rock. I got it today and drove around listening intently during my lunch hour.

I’ll listen some  more on the way home tonight. Here’s what I think so far:

It’s interesting.

There are a couple of really well-crafted pieces that sound a little off beat, perhaps it’s the lure and spirit of my grandparent’s home country, I don’t know, but it’s refreshing to hear the usual grunts and power-smash chords and the forced, smoky vocal growl pushed aside for something interesting and woven and thoughtful. 

My benefactor said that this new CD might remind me of the days when Bonamassa was cranking out “original” sounding classic rock. I know that sounds odd, but he was so inventive for So It’s Like That and  A New Day Yesterday. Over the years since then, his power trio raw energy was smoothed over with band member changes, strings, keyboards, over-producing touches, etc.  It seemed the artist had lost his way or burned out or just ran out of material. 

This CD is the first breath of change from Totally Predictable that I’ve heard from this artist in a long, long time. I always maintain that if you can hum along with brand-new music, it ain’t brand new, is it? And with JB, it’s always been comforting to hum along, realizing that it’s nothing new, really.

I’m gonna leave it at that. I am not trying to go negative on this artist. He’s a good rock and blues singer, killer guitar player (although he’s sounding kind of predictable on this CD) and I know he’s a good guy to boot.

Ok, I’m not going to leave it just yet. I have one bitch and it isn’t a new one: When you cover a song like Jeff Beck’s “Spanish Boots,” tread very, very carefully, grasshopper. It’s funny, I’ve been listening very recently (and nearly non-stop) to a re-mastered, re-releaseed “Beck-Ola,” featuring Ron Wood on bass and Rod Stewart cranking the vocals, including “Spanish Boots.” I didn’t even know it was going to appear on JB’s new CD until my donor told me last week.

Doing a cover of a tune like “Spanish Boots” should never be an opportunity to castrate it, dumb it down and shoot it out there, unless you are disrespecting it enough to waste it as a filler track. That’s what happened here, in my opinion. JB’s fans, the ones who would willingly spontaneously deliver his multiple children while going door to door to sell jars of his urine, need to listen to the original to understand this complaint. The original was a wild, raw and loosely structured gypsy-jam with a distinct the-car-is-crashing-sound and Ron Wood’s bellowing, grinding, whale-out-of-water bass playing. In and around this tune, Beck weaves riffs non-stop with his signature circus insanity and guitar giggling. Then, he’ll stop bending  around in the background and slam a power chord with the rest of the band, then back to his background gig. His guitar is singing in the background throughout most of the tune. Funny little riffs. Layered, laughing guitar licks. But when you stand back and look at the whole song, it’s a fairly complex piece with different moods being juggled.  And it all somehow comes together. 

Unfortunately, this cover has none of that. It’s a big, plodding, greasy thing, nearly unrecognizable and, as with a Blind Faith tune that JB covered years ago, he clips the signature chords short and improvises. It’s a LAZY version of this tune. Naughty, naughty! It feels like Pat Boone doing “Foxy Lady.”

“Oh…hey! Foxy Lady! (winks and points at someone in the audience) You know you’re a cut little heartbreaker, bobba-buh-do… wo-yeah! Like my white suede shoes? Anyway, wo-yeah, you know you’re a sweet little lovemaker…it’s great to be back in Pompano Beach! Hello, Florida!…I wanna take you home, yeah, 
I won’t do you no harm, no…”   

Now I’m done! Thank you for playing. For those who have complained over the years that JB was getting stale and predictable, this is a bit of an encouraging break-out CD. I hope he continues to explore and grow. He deserves it.

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29 thoughts on “Black Rock? Black Country? Τι βρωμίστε !

  1. torqdog says:

    Good review Bill and a fun one at that. I agree totally with your assessment of his Jeff Beck cover….. it just falls flat. Which takes us to the rest of the story….. I’m thus far, disappointed with this new offering. It was built up as a step back towards the day when the energy was flowing and the tunes were raw. I found none of that in the couple of spins I’ve given this disc.

    Back when I reviewed the Albert Hall DVD, I loaded the changer in my truck with nothin but Joe where it has remained ever since. Just the other day on a “honey-do” trip to Home Depot, I was listening to the You and Me CD with Tea for One and Django. Django sounds very much like something Jeff Beck would do and It’s Joe’s tune. Tea for One, a Zepplin copy has energy dripping out of the speakers, something I never heard with this new disc.

    I was gonna give it a couple more spins, then write my review here but ya beat me to it. So instead, I’ll give it a couple more spins and see if my opinion changes. It wouldn’t be the first time.

    BTW; Bill, how did ya get that fancy font in the thread title?

  2. Bill says:

    I’m still spinning it in the car. I like the sound he’s tapping into on a few of the tunes; a real gutsy, bayou-bottom sound, not unlike a few on Blues Deluxe (I prefer the original here, as well).

    I’ve been giving this cover tune thing some thought and after listening again on the way home last night, have this to share: Cover tunes are tough to critique. My shreiking and teeth-knashing over Spanish Boots is emblematic of that challenge. At some point, you have to discern between a nearly exact cover, like SRV doing VooDoo Chile, or an “inspired cover,” like something silly Dread Zepplin or Devo might do. And then, is Weird Al Yankovich far behind?

    Here’s my problem with what Joe does with some Classic Rock covers. The guy is a wonderful guitar talent, so why does he need to alter the signature melody and chord work of some of the most recognizable tunes from those days? And in altering the unique core melody, he doesn’t go complex, he goes simplification and it ends up sounding generic and a waste of space. Filler. Wouldn’t be so bad if he didn’t also use cover tunes as the title of some of his CD’s.

    I can’t tell if he’s trying to drink from the fountain of inspiration and homage or just stopping by to gargle, spit and run.

    And I’m confused. Who is Black Country/ Black Rock? My CD is branded as a JB offering all the way through. So what happened to Glenn Hughes and Jason Bonham, etc? They aren’t even mentioned in the CD info booklet. I thought Black Something or Other was a team effort with those guys.

  3. Stu says:

    Black Rock is a JB CD with the usual players, named for Black Rock Studio http://www.blackrock-studios.com/ where it was recorded.

    The (formerly named) Black Country side project, which is still in the works, was going to be named for the region in the UK known as “Black Country” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Country which (I believe) Hughes and Bonham are from…

  4. Stu says:

    I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts and opinions about Black Rock, so I could articulate them here in a way that makes sense. I have listened to Black Rock many times now and I know how I feel…but my thoughts are so scattered and disconnected that it’s difficult to put them in order.

    First, I guess I’ll respond to Bill’s thoughts about Spanish Boots. I’ve never heard the original, so I have no basis for comparison. For me, JB’s arrangement and/or interpretation is just fine. I suspect if JB recorded a more deliberate copy of Beck’s playing style and arrangement we’d be ragging on him for trying to copy Jeff Beck instead of being himself? I don’t know. But lacking familiarity with the original happily allows me to enjoy the song on it’s own merit. Spanish Boots along with Blue and Evil were my early favorites the first few times I listened to Black Rock.

    For me, Black Rock features well-crafted originals and nicely arranged covers, all expertly performed. JB’s vocals on Black Rock are the best he’s ever recorded. That doesn’t necessarily mean everyone will prefer his vocals on this record (that’s subjective)…but there’s no argument that technically, they are his best yet.

    One thing I was disappointed with resulted from my own expectations, which were fueled by this http://mixonline.com/recording/mixing/music-bonamassas-black-rock-0110/index.html (and several other similar) articles. Producer Kevin Shirley was quoted as saying, “Normally, Joe plays a Les Paul guitar, but on this album I wanted to try to challenge him, so I asked him to put away his beloved Les Paul and we recorded with him playing a Telecaster and an amplifier and nothing between them. Then I just I dangled a [Shure SM] 57 over the speaker, just trying to get an edgier live feeling. After five or six days of that, we went back to Joe’s comfort zone; we put up the huge stacks and miked them up properly with a 57 and the Beyer 201 and a Royer R121 and a Neumann 67 back into the room to give it a little bit of ambience.”

    I had hoped to hear this on the album. I was looking forward to hearing at least a few songs that had that, “…edgier live feeling” with a Telecaster direct into an amp — with that classic Tele tone cutting through the mix and kicking ass. Evidently this was simply an exercise Shirley put JB through before recording primarily with Gibsons? The liner notes do list 2 different Telecasters as being used on Black Rock, but I don’t hear any songs that jumped out at me as sounding like an edgy, live-sounding Telecaster.

    Maybe it’s the same dynamic that led to Bill’s disappointment in Spanish Boots. I had expectations that weren’t met.

    Black Rock, although somewhat heavier, is really just another in a series of similar-sounding recordings dating back to 2006’s You and Me. While each of JB’s first five studio releases had their own unique personality and appeal, the last four present the listener with a somewhat uniform product. Unfortunately, for this long-time fan and supporter, it’s a product that lacks much of the charisma that JB’s earlier works offered.

    There are a three main factors that have contributed to this: a change in band personnel, a move from Fender to Gibson guitars, and bringing in Kevin Shirley as Producer.

    The change in band personnel has been talked about for years now, and there’s no sense in picking at that scab for the purposes of reviewing Black Rock. It is mentioned here simply as a contributing factor to the change in vibe starting with You and Me, and carrying forward through Black Rock. It is inevitable that if you change the tonal quality of the bass (and the playing styles of the rhythm section in general), the music will not only sound different but have a different overall feel.

    Admittedly, I preferred Joe’s sound when he primarily played Fender Strats, and all the different effects he used with them. When Joe moved to Gibsons he found a specific tone he liked, and has (for the most part) stayed with it. It’s not a bad tone, but it has been more consistent (and therefore less varied) from album to album now.

    In fairness, I should share a little of the background that contributed to Joe’s move from Strats to Les Pauls. Joe and his management initially approached Fender about developing a Joe Bonamassa signature Stratocaster. Fender’s response was “No thanks, we only consider ‘A List’ performers for signature models.” Shortly thereafter, Fender slapped Joe in the face a second time, copying his custom “Goldie” Strat (complete in detail down the the wear marks on the neck) and released it as their own model.

    Subsequently, Joe approached Gibson – who welcomed the opportunity to partner with him in the development and release of a Joe Bonamassa Signature Les Paul. It’s no wonder Joe became a loyal Gibson player!

    Ok, back on topic. The third factor in Joe’s post Had To Cry Today sound was the hiring of Kevin Shirley as producer, who has been at the helm of all recording since, including Black Rock.

    Now we enter another area of subjectivity and personal taste. In so much that Shirley has been a positive force in the advancement of Joe’s career, my musical, “Ear” and his are often at odds with each other.

    Black Rock, like all Shirley-produced JB studio recordings, sounds a bit compressed and homogenized. The drums feel a bit muted, and are a little low in the mix for my taste. The bass often lacks clairity and definition. Part of the issue with the bass may be Carmine’s tone and playing style, but none the less it’s often difficult to discern in the mix. Kevin Shirley seems to prefer a product where all the sounds blend together to form one uniform sound. I’ve always preferred recordings on which I can clearly hear, focus on and enjoy each individual instrument, or that I can sit back and enjoy as a whole.

    It’s not unlike nearsightedness, where one might be able to enjoy a panoramic view from a distance, but be unable to look at and appreciate some of individual features within the same field of vision.

    Is it fair to blame Kevin Shirley? Only partially. Joe (and his Manager Roy) are Executive Producers, and as such must approve the sound of the final product.

    With all this said, Black Rock is still a quality offering that promises to sell a lot of units. Several cuts are radio-friendly. I just can’t help but think that the exact same songs, with the same arrangements and perfomances, recorded and/or mixed and/or EQ’d differently, could really come alive. Perhaps the most frustrating part is that I know Shirley is capable. I downloaded the audio-only release of JB’s Royal Albert Hall show from iTunes (also produced by Shirley) and the sound is much better. The drums are much more present in the mix, and it’s the only JB/Shirley recording I’ve heard where the bass has some clarity and definition. The recording as a whole sounds much bigger. It’s less compressed, and there’s a freshness and accessability to the music that’s missing in the JB/Shirley studio offerings.

    Am I nit-picking? Probably. Is it simply a matter of personal preference? Absolutely. Am I still a fan of JB’s music? Without a doubt.

    Black Rock is a very good record.

    • Bill says:

      You hit the nail on a couple of points for me. It’s the overly-produced feel and guitar sound that may be the culprit. It’s at the heart of my complaints about his cover selections.

      It seems that most of the sound, both vocals and guitar, remain much the same in each album now, but the graphics are defintely getting better. The Black Rock packaging is really quite good.

      I really don’t mean to demean this artist. He’s evolving his way and in doing so is pulling away from what attracted many of us to him originally.

      That’s life. I still need to get a map to figure out who’s Black, who’s Black Country, who’s Black Country Studios, who’s Black Country Rock, who’s Black Rock, who’s…

  5. Bill says:

    Haven’t ever heard the original? I feared as much. After hearing this JB version, I’m wondering if he’s heard it. Here, this will explain it better than any comments I can muster.

    This was 40+ years ago. Ron Wood cracks me up on bass! He goes absolutely JACK BRUCE near the end. These wankers were like 25-26 years old. Nicky Hopkins on piano. Wow-

  6. torqdog says:

    Well I still haven’t found it to be the “cut above’ release I had been hoping for. Looking over all these posts, one thing is clear. If this CD was an outstanding, roll back to his roots offering as promised with all that raw energy, we wouldn’t be sitting here talking about tones, vocals and covers, would we? We would more likely be talking about what an awesome CD it is. I do agree with Stu in that his vocals are more polished than ever.

    Maybe I just need to realize that those good old days of Fort Wayne and the Garage are things of the past. It’s tough when I can still put on that DVD and be totally inspired again.

  7. Jane says:

    I love it. I don’t have a very discerning ear or however is the right thing to say about that so I am not that critical on the overall sound. I am a super fan or something to that effect and I spend alot of time reading things that Joe says and then wonder what he meant. Blue and Evil was the first song I heard off Black Rock and I thought it was great. It was unexpected IMO but I liked how it wasn’t a sad and soppy old blues guitar solo sort of thing. Just cause I am not so into the blues like that I guess. Joe recently was quoted as saying he didn’t like the song. I would really like to know why. he even said something like it was generic. To me it was anything but.
    so I wonder why he even wrote it recorded it. and it makes me wonder what about any given song he ‘likes’ or thinks is ‘good’. My observations indicate that changes which is reasonable and expected. I wonder how much what he thinks about a type or style of music influences how he records things and also how others opinions affect his. I love the cd but I do also still long for an album with the energy like ANDY Live. I don’t think it is so much the more guitar notes in it but a higher energy feel maybe and less sad like solos, even though I can classify the songs as still being blues. I don’t know if that makes sense but I do very much enjoy Black Rock. I think alot of it rocks but I don’t think its is all rock, not that it needs to be or anything.
    I’ll see a show in a few weeks and my last one was in November. One if the best shows I have seen and one of his best. Extremely enjoyable. i could do without songs like So Many Roads because it brings me down a bit, or just one of those sad type solo songs for lack of better way to describe it. I enjoy and appreciate the music and the great performances but I prefer either more upbeat lyrics or music that doesn’t bring me down so much most of the time.
    Many of the songs on here to me have a British blues rock sound to them, very heavy. Some covers and some not with the new still keeping to the style.
    I can clearly tell the difference between Black Rock and the band formerly referred to as Black Country. The band name I do think has been determined but not yet announced. the Black Country thing was an idea that got spread around prematurely I think. I am curious about how Joe now seems to have some interest in a ‘rock’ band because I have always thought rock was where he excelled the most and truthfully could not understand how he didn’t seem to say much that indicated he believed it. But what the hell do I know what he thinks. I only go by what I hear him say or hear he has said. i think he could rock out more with his current band but I think maybe the new venture is giving him a different motivation and inspiration.
    anyway Black Rock is a great disc IMO. well worth the asking price. I love it. Not sure where to rank it in my favorites of Joe’s. I do love them all, some more than others but not completely sure why. To me its more the songs than the production etc. I think. So It’s Like That is my favorite.
    here is a site where I THINK you can listen to Black Rock for free.
    http://www.lala.com/#song/432627043565850376
    and if you wanna buy it, please do not hesitate to use this link below because I will get a buck or two from the sale.
    Thanks,
    Jane
    http://www.jbonamassa.com/affiliates/idevaffiliate.php?id=163

  8. billie789 says:

    I guess I am jealous, in a way, of anyone who can listen to this CD and get so much out of it that I can’t seem to sense. But that’s the way most music is, isn’t it? I know people who think KISS is cool, still.

    I truly believe that anyone new to this artist would say,”Wow!” And I truly believe the hard-core fan base will say,”Wow!” often and sincerely.

    The rest of us are left in a little different space, I think. I’m recognizing too many licks in consecutive CD’s now. My lost interest began when I realized that as good as he was and is, he’s not nearly as satisfying as his hard-hard core fans think he is.

    And, I’ll say it again, I do not want to dump on this guy. He’s likeable, always treated me well when I asked for autographs, etc. for the most part and I enjoyed the Hell out of his early stuff. The early stuff made me get on airplanes to go see him.

  9. esarsea says:

    Jane, you got caught in the spam filter because there were 2 links in your post. Not that you can’t have links, it just flags them as potential spam if a comment has 2 or more links in it and puts a hold on them. Our default settings are not to hold any comment for moderation or approval…but the spam filter has a mind of it’s own. It does come in handy though, it’s caught and prevented 1,473 spam comments that would have otherwise shown up here!

  10. Jane says:

    thanks Stu. I knew it was something simple and I might have known that about the links. I just mentioned it since some were going up and some weren’t.
    I just listened to the Jeff Beck version of Spanish Boots above and it was probably the first time I ever heard it. Joe has turned me onto alot of music. Thanks for the link. i would have probably sought it out eventually. I think Joe’s version is a fine cover. Again I always wonder what’s going through his head and how he approached it and for what reasons. After hearing the original I can actually imagine a few other ways he may have done it, or play it live. That would be cool. the lyrics are great and to me that is the blues I can relate to and it rocks. I’ll do some more comparisions but this track gives me a feel for the sound thing I have heard people discuss that is not something I ever really paid attention to. It all sounds good to me but I do notice the difference.
    anyway I have changed my expectaions of Joe releases over the years. a few times I had hoped and expected to have something more similar to So, Its Like That (SILT) or A New Day Yesterday (ANDY) because when I first became a Joe fan I realized that I believed he would be the one who could really save rock and roll. The way I believed he could acheive this was by making music so widely desirable that the people would demand more of their local radio stations. and then from there it would just spread and become more the way I imagined it when you older guys were teenagers. you see I grew up on FM radio and by the time I was a teenager there was already ‘classic rock’. I never bought much music but I listened to the radio as much as possible.
    It was only later that I realized I only knew ‘classic hits’ or whatever. I knew there was Jeff Beck but not much about him, never even heard of Rory Gallagher, etc.
    there is so much I would never know but i know some of the reasons why radio playlists get the way they are. i thought the stuff in SILT was the perfect stuff for radio and to get people motivated to demand more from other great artists and change the way the industry worked. Then Joe put out Blues Deluxe and I was like wtf blues? although I liked every song! love the disc but I thought this is his blues tribute and then came the next which rocked but also very bluesy and so on. loved them all but i finally realized i wasn’t getting So Its Like That part 2 ever or anytime soon at least. In my mind that golden opportunity to get the public behind a demand for better rockin radio (IMO) didn’t have the same chance as I thought the music of SILT added to Joe’s noteriety would bring.
    Then I just decided to enjoy the works for what they were and what it seemed like they were for Joe. He appreciates being able to make a living making music he loves and i appreciate that and the music. I do love Black Rock although I don’t think it necesarrily has that same intensity that is needed for the save the rock and roll radio thing (and more but thats a different story). I think I get more out of it now also with a different goal or expectation.
    The fact that Black Rock is released on his own label is very significant in my dream of the rock saving the world thing and a serious acheivement.
    As a fan I also enjoy the releases coming frequently.
    Joe is fairly big in the UK now. I have been checking out some of their rock and classic rock stations via the web. I think the style of alot of these songs on Black Rock fit in well with the heavy blues rock classic rock style. Maybe my rock radio dream isn’t too far off. but I try not to put that kinda pressure on Joe. I just dig it.

  11. Joanie says:

    Ah, the good old days where we used to fly off to see Joe and meet up with fans. Yeah, that’s what this CD is lacking. Don’t get me wrong: I like it. In fact, there are couple tunes I actually LOVE. But I don’t have a burning desire to shell out any kind of money to go see him perform. I think those days are behind me. I have no problem recommending the CD or any of his past work to people, but I’m at the point where he’s no longer making me look at flight schedules nor do I have any desire to meet any other fans beyond those I’ve already met, either online or in person.

    As for the actual CD, I think this is a step back toward a more spontaneous recording process, much like when he recorded with Tom Dowd. However, that spontaneity ends up muted once it hits the mixing stage. Or at least that’s where it seems to lose the juice.

    Now, if any of you fine gentlemen bloggers wants to get together for a really good show, let’s talk. It probably won’t be Joe, but it could be someone else who has a lot of presence and talent, don’t you think? I meant, two of us are already in Nevada and one of us is just a single state away, and the other, well…Stu, you do manage to get away every now and then…it could happen, couldn’t it?

    • torqdog says:

      Did you have any particular artist in mind? It would be allot of fun seeing everyone again. I still have fond memories and photos from those gigs at the Garage.

  12. Joanie says:

    P.S. Bill, don’t know how your comment ended up appearing AFTER mine. After all, I was responding, in part, to you. Weird. WordPress is getting weird.

    • torqdog says:

      That is weird Joanie……. your comments didn’t even show up until this morning. Kind of reminds me of the hit and miss voicemail service I had from my last cell phone provider.

    • Stu says:

      When I deleted Jane’s comment which talked about her other comment not appearing, and then added her original one from the spam filter, it messed up the sequence. Bill’s comment that appears at the bottom was actually a reply to the deleted comment from Jane…and I don’t know how to put them back in order :-)

  13. Jane says:

    To add to what I was trying to say earlier i think Blac rock actually has what it takes to get an interest in new rock in the classic style and radio play. i actually think it might be better for that than what i thought SILT could do. so i guess what i am saying really is that i had such a personal expectation after SILT that it led me to jodge his other works to that expectation. Black Rock to me sounds more the way i think that Joe may want to sound and i do think that it is a great connector to many older classic rock tunes.
    i got on a plane for the first time in more than 25 years to go see Joe last Fall. I won the travel money but that was insignificant to getting me on an airplane. I’m actually for the first time considering more travel and possibly even air travel to another show because the last one i saw was definitely one of the best ever, IMO.

  14. Jane says:

    Black Rock debuts on Billboard’s charts:
    #1 Blues
    #7 ROCK
    #39 Top 200
    not too shabby!

    • BIll says:

      What does it take, in sold units, to hit those marks, anyone know? My understanding is that sales of CDs are way, way down and continue to tumble with Itunes and other downloading options. I mean, can Joe hit those marks with just his fans buying up the merch? Does Billboard take anything other than CD sales into consideration?

      And my other observation is that if this CD is so good, what’s everyone bitching about?

      • torqdog says:

        Quote;
        And my other observation is that if this CD is so good, what’s everyone bitching about?

        My thoughs exactly. As I said above, If this CD was an outstanding, roll back to his roots offering as promised with all that raw energy, we wouldn’t be sitting here talking about tones, vocals and covers, would we? We would more likely be talking about what an awesome CD it is.

        When I listen to this compilation, it just doesn’t grab me like his earlier stuff does. There’s no desire when the disc is done to “spin it again Sam”.

      • Jane says:

        I don’t know what it takes to hit those marks in terms of units sold.
        i am guessing that if you bought the itunes of the whole cd it would go toward the count and yes it should be cd sales. pre-orders etc go toward first week sales i think.
        as far as if its just his fans buying them, sounds about right, he’s got alot of fans. i rarely buy something from an artist I am not already a fan of so it makes sense.

        not sure what you mean by ‘everybody bitching about’? cd sales don’t = rave reviews but from the few places online i have been reading reviews, i don’t see much difference in comments as from past cds. you got some who love it, some who don’t, some who think its too bluesy and wanting rock, some who think its too rock and wanting bluesy, too produced, greatly produced, some say its not their favorite from Joe yet a favorite amongst new stuff, etc.

        the comments on this site seem to lean mostly toward bitching but again its not that different from with the past few cds.

        i dunno, some of the stuff of Joe’s I like the best he himself doesn’t like.

        there was opportunity to listen to the whole cd online for free before the release, so maybe some of those sales were after people had a chance to listen to it?

  15. Joanie says:

    As far as acts to see, I have such a long list. Stoney Curtis (saw him three times in two days this weekend). If Eric Gales starts touring again, he’d be worth it. Rastus Kane would be fun, but I don’t think he tours the west really. I’ll have to dig through my list of cool bands to remember the rest.

  16. Bill says:

    Jane,

    The comments here seem bitchy because we can be honest here without fear of retribution, flaming threats and dismissal, blocking or deleting accounts from forums, etc. I can give the damn thing 2 or 3 Stars if that’s what I really think it deserves and not worry about someone going out of their f*cking skull over it and calling Joe’s Dad and telling him that I’m the Anti-Christ who drinks children’s tears from a gold goblet as an aperitif after consuming a bowl of flaming lamb’s blood for lunch.

    You can pretty much be yourself and have an honest opinion here and no one will ever go ape-shit crazy on you. That’s what I meant…

    • torqdog says:

      WOW!,……. “the Anti-Christ who drinks children’s tears from a gold goblet as an aperitif after consuming a bowl of flaming lamb’s blood for lunch”.

      Where do you come up with this stuff?!!! I’m lovin it! :-)

    • Jane says:

      thanks Bill. I appreciate the freedom to post honest opinions here.
      i apologize if my post wasn’t as clear as I’d hoped. From your reply i think maybe i misinterpreted yours. both things are constant struggles for me.
      When i mentioned that the comments here leaned more toward bitching than not, I was trying to just say, hey in this smaller data set i see what i think you meant by ‘what’s all the bitching about’ but from the larger (yet still limited) data set of other sites where i have read reviews about this disc it isn’t tilted enough to capsize that way or something. I guess I was trying to say I have read the same sort of mixed bag of reviews as with previous releases and actually sort of less bitching. I know many places that have reviews usually have more fans commenting than non fans but it is all i have a basis for. I actually have read more bitching on Joe’s forum than other places I have been reading reviews and comments. I like to use Jack Renfro as a reference sometimes and he even wasn’t real bitchy about this disc, although I know it isn’t that significant.
      I was not in any way trying to imply anything about the posts here, just trying to see what you meant.
      so i guess maybe i was attempting to figure how that comment measured up on what my view of the overall tone of comments is instead of looking at it that it is suprising that it debuted high in the billboard charts when many listeners don’t think that highly of it.
      in my view, it is because there were that many more listeners but really i don’t know.
      i know that this post might not be clear but I didn’t mean anything else by it.

      • Bill says:

        Oh, geez, somehow in the big mix of things, it just don’t matta-

        Mixed reviews is a good term, I like that. It won’t really matter a hoot what a few think, though. Since it’s a numbers game, you listen to your majority audience, not a handful who really share strong opinions.

        You know, JB could have called and asked me my opinion about knicking Spanish Boots. It’s not like he doesn’t have my number :-)

      • Jane says:

        oh yeah not trying to make a deal of it i just realklty struggle with trying to make sense.
        but i do think Joe considers honest opinions.
        i’ll be interested to hear your opinion of the cd coming out in the next few months by Joe, Glenn Hughes , Jason Bonham and Derek Sherinian.

      • torqdog says:

        Yeah Jane, I’m REALLY looking forward to that little project. It “should” be awesome. I just hope it doesn’t fall flat like so many have in the past. Chickenfoot is the latest example of a great bunch of musicians getting together and just not living up to the hype and expectations. I like the album but it’s a sort of “ho-hum” release……. not at all what I was hoping for.

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