Joe Bonamassa is proving he can still surprise with the announcement of a full-length instrumental album from his new project called The Sleep Eazys.
The first single is a blazing take on the 1969 theme to Bond (On Her Majesty's Secret Service). It's produced by Bonamassa and he's enlisted his touring band, plus some favourite collaborators for the album, released on 10 April via Provogue/J&R Adventures.
The late Tele-playing legend Danny Gatton was an inspiration behind the album and Bonamassa delivers a tribute to him alongside instrumental versions of favourites from Frank Sinatra, Tony Joe White, King Curtis and even Motörhead.
"To be honest I have always wanted to do a record like this," explains Bonamassa. "But, to be even more honest I’m not sure I was ready both professionally and musically, until now.
"The time finally felt right to finally pay tribute to a mentor, a friend and one of the greatest guitarists of all time: the late great Danny Gatton. My time hanging out and jamming with Danny as a child shaped my playing and musical pathway more than just about anyone.”
The Sleep Eazys line-up includes Late Night with David Letterman’s Anton Fig (percussion), Musician’s Hall of Famer Michael Rhodes (bass), former Double Trouble member Reese Wynans (keyboards), Lee Thornburg (trumpet), Paulie Cerra (saxophone), along with Jade MacRae and Juanita Tippins on background vocals.
In addition, Jimmy Hall guests on harmonica alongside string player extraordinaire John Jorgenson.
The full tracklisting for the self-titled album is:
1. Fun House
3. Ace Of Spades
4. Ha So
5. Hawaiian Eye
6. Bond (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
7. Polk Salad Annie
8. Blue Nocturne
9. It Was A Very Good Year
The Sleep Eazy's album comes ahead of a new Bonamassa solo album that the guitarist recently tracked at Abbey Road with a huge armoury of his guitars. That album will reportedly draw upon the spirit of Bonamassa's British blues influences.