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Hailed worldwide as one of the greatest guitar players of his generation, Joe Bonamassa has almost single-handedly redefined the blues-rock genre and brought it into the mainstream. He continues this role with his first-ever entirely acoustic concert, recorded at the venerable Vienna Opera House with a global ensemble put together by longtime creative partner Kevin Shirley. The 2CD/2DVD/Blu-ray, An Acoustic Evening at the Vienna Opera House, comes out March 26, 2013 on Bonamassa's label J&R Adventures.
Bonamassa -- a predominantly electric guitar player -- was ready for a complete departure from his usual projects. For years, he had been wowing audiences with his flagship acoustic song "Woke Up Dreaming," which has become an iconic staple of his world tour and a fan favorite. Building on the popularity of this song, Bonamassa and producer Shirley set out to design an entirely new and intimate "unplugged" concert experience that they would then bring to seven lucky cities in Europe during summer 2012. They recorded the performance in Vienna— the "City of Music" — at the Vienna Opera House, a culturally iconic venue steeped in history and heritage, making it the perfect backdrop for this unprecedented show.
An Acoustic Evening at the Vienna Opera House features gorgeously textured music -- 20 songs, filmed in HD and recorded in Dolby 5.1 -- made with a wealth of rare, vintage, organic and "oddball" instruments. The DVD and Blu-ray will feature 90 minutes of extra footage, interviews and a making-of documentary. Highlights among the 20 songs include favorites that span Bonamassa's career—"The Ballad of John Henry," "Woke Up Dreaming," "Ball Peen Hammer," "Sloe Gin," and "Mountain Time"—including many he doesn't normally perform live, such as "Athens to Athens," "Black Lung Heartache," "Jelly Roll," "Around The Bend," "Jockey Full of Bourbon," "Seagull," and "Richmond." Accompanying Bonamassa on the same stage once graced by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Mahler, and Haydn are: traditional Irish fiddler Gerry O'Connor, who also plays mandolin and banjo; Swedish multi-instrumentalist Mats Wester on the nyckelharpa, a keyed fiddle; Los Angeles-based keyboardist Arlan Schierbaum texturing the mix with celeste, accordions, toy pianos, and assorted "organic" instruments; and renowned Puerto Rican percussionist Lenny Castro, whose works spans genres and reads like a who's who of artists, including the Rolling Stones, Sir Elton John, Eric Clapton, Boz Scaggs, Toto, Steely Dan, Christopher Cross, Stevie Wonder, David Sanborn, Avenged Sevenfold, Little Feat, Tom Petty, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and many more.