If there's one record in 2016 that's going to rattle your sound-system's speakers, clean out your ears, and provide the perfect backdrop to some serious air guitar, this is it.

Like the late Jeff Healey and Stevie Ray, and George Thorogood who almost lifted the roof off the Christchurch Town Hall a few years back, Joe Bonamassa likes the volume up around 11.

Blues of Desperation then is a no-holds-barred attack from the multi-Grammy nominated blues rock guitarist.

Longtime producer Kevin Shirley assembled a powerhouse group of musicians, Anton Fig and Greg Morrow on drums, Michael Rhodes bass, keyboardist Reese Williams, horn section of Lee Thornburg, Paulie Cerra and Mark Douthit, with background vocals from Mahalia Barnes, Jade McRae and Juanita Tippins.


The end result was a tight-as sound with exceptional balance and production.

Mostly the music is full-on, from the gritty This Train, the raw Drive and No Good Place for the Lonely.

But slipped in among the heavyweights is What I've Known for So Long, a soul-like anthem or Bonamassa's vocal challenge to his backup singers on The Valley Runs Low, resulting in a gospel-like meet-up.

No Good Place for the Lonely raises the bar, if that's possible, on Joe's approach to blues-rock guitar.

In Blues of Desperation it's hard to see Joe Bonamassa not adding Billboard Blues Album No16 to his already stellar career.

Rating: 4/5 stars.