Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
Non-Prog DVD/Video Reviews

Joe Bonamassa

Now Serving: Royal Tea: Live From The Ryman DVD

Review by Gary Hill

The brilliant Royal Tea album that came from Joe Bonamassa last year was a victim of bad timing. From the delay in the studio caused by drummer Anton Fig injuring himself, to Covid shutting down venues, the whole thing was delayed and then hampered by lack of a live debut.

Bonamassa and his band figured out a way forward with a virtual concert. The audience was packed full of cardboard cut-outs. It's really a major contrast that I am personally doing two video reviews in this issue of Music Street Journal. One is this one, with no audience, and the other is a Rolling Stones video with one of the largest attended concerts of all time (estimated one-and-a-half-million people).

This video is made up of the footage from that virtual gig. There is an introduction with some interview clips and explanation of the whole process. After each song they put in audience reaction from earlier Bonamassa live videos.  I suppose as a historical document of the virtual gig, those pieces take away. However, I can't imagine a live video being released without audience reaction, so I think that was the right choice. I'd think of it as the best way to deal with a less than ideal situation.

You'd never know that the band were just doing a virtual show. The whole stage setup was just what you'd expect from a Bonamassa concert. The whole performance is on fire, and everybody in the band puts their best live playing into it.

When it comes to blues rock, you just can't go wrong with Bonamassa. As far as I'm concerned he is one of the greats of the modern blues rock guys. Given all the issues that went into this, it is really a tribute to the skill and determination that they have produced something this great. I'll be reviewing the CD version of this next issue, so that will delve more into the individual songs, but suffice it to say that this is very, very good.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at:

More DVD/Video Reviews
Metal/Prog Metal
Progressive Rock

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2024 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./