See Joe Bonamassa tracking a feast of blazing guitar solos for the forthcoming Black Country Communion album

Joe Bonamassa
(Image credit: Derek Sherinian / Instagram)

As much as we admire Joe Bonamassa's solo work, there's just something special about the way he plays in Black Country Communion; this is rock Bonamassa and the spirit seems to guide him to magical places as a guitarist as he steps back from the vocal spotlight for more of a supporting role to Glenn Hughes. And we can now see glimpses of what's to come as he's back in the legendary Sunset Sound studio in LA with producer Kevin Shirley and his BCC bandmates. And Joe's on fire. 

First up is this slide solo footage shot by keyboardist Derek Sherinian in the control room with Shirley. Joe's playing what we believe is his 1961 TV Yellow SG with P-90s on day 6 of what will become their fifth album. 

And then there's this extended solo that Sherinian posted with glowing praise … and it is masterful stuff on his 'Burst Les Paul. Wonderful phrasing and feel here from Mr B, and a real workout. No wonder he looks tired afterwards!  

It's interesting to see the process in this way as this is the same solo, with a different approach here. 

Sherinian is really spoiling us now. Here's Joe again, getting tasty with a wah on the Les Paul. This time he's matched his cap to the finish – always good to see. Take notes, Slash

Another post reveals Joe brought six electric guitars into the studio for BCC V – two LPs, two Teles, the SG Special and a Strat. All fitted with gauge 11 guitar strings. 

The Les Paul on the far right of the pic above is Tommy Bolin's old 1960 Les Paul. And Joe shot a pic of Bolin's old Deep Purple bandmate Glenn Hughes with it. 

Joe has confirmed on Instagram that the Strat is his 1959 slab 'board model. And there's the curveball of a two-humbucker Tele in the mix alongside what we think is his favoured 1951 Nocaster aka The Bludgeon.  

Amp-wise it's a vintage tour de force too including a Fender Bandmaster, Marshall JTM-45, Vox AC30, Dumble Overdrive Special, what could be a Dumble-modded Ultra-Phonix Vibrolux and Robin Trower's old 1973 Marshall Tremolo Joe acquired in 2022.  

Joe doesn't do anything in half measures. By day four of the recording Joe later noted that the JTM-45 was proving to be the "star" of his amp arsenal. And he also went for a vintage classic effect moment too with the Boss Chorus Ensemble and an "Andy Summers" moment. 

It sounds like this album is shaping up very nicely – we believe recording is now done so now we've just got to to wait for mixing, mastering and a release date. Hopefully some live dates will follow too. 

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.