Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa - 'Live In Amsterdam'

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Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa - 'Live In Amsterdam'

If you enjoyed the albums Joe Bonamassa and Beth Hart made together, this show is every bit as good - if not better.

The releases featuring Joe Bonamassa just keep on coming. I always worry he might over-saturate his market with product, but on the flip side you can't blame him for making hay while the sun shines. The other main thing to consider is the stuff he's putting out is very good indeed. This DVD is certainly no exception.

To focus purely on Bonamassa does this partnership a massive disservice however. He teamed up with vocalist Beth Hart to make a pair of very well performed Soul influenced albums, namely 'Don't Explain' and 'Seesaw'. The two artists were equally billed and this show features material from both records, performed by an astonishingly good band featuring frequent Bonamassa companions Anton Fig (drums), Carmine Rojas (bass) and Arlan Schierbaum (keyboards). The band is augmented by Blondie Chaplin on rhythm guitar and a killer three-piece horns section.

While Bonamassa plays to his usual expert standard, I was captivated by Hart. She has an incredible voice full of power and passion and delivers a gritty, hot and sweaty performance, the likes of which you only tend to see from Tina Turner. Indeed, it's one of Turner's tracks where Hart shines brightest, delivering a phenomenal take on the classic 'Nutbush City Limits'.
The set is mostly rooted in Soul with Hart delivering big time on 'Sinner's Prayer' and the superb 'Rhymes', where Bonamassa and Chaplin do a terrific job on backing vocals. There is Rockier fare like 'Can't Let Go', a Blues work out with 'Someday After Awhile (You'll Be Sorry)' which Bonamassa handles lead vocals on and the poignant 'Strange Fruit' which Hart absolutely nails. The set even goes a little Parisian with 'If I Tell You I Love You'. This variety meshes beautifully and is delivered with style.

If the excellent music wasn't enough to sell the DVD, it comes with a second disk containing a photo gallery, a 'Making Of' documentary, backstage footage and an alternate take. This stuff is crammed on and sees the bonus disk offering nearly two hours worth or extras.

The show is available as a double CD but I preferred watching it – it's superbly filmed and feels like you are there. If you enjoyed the albums Joe Bonamassa and Beth Hart made together, this show is every bit as good – if not better.

James Gaden

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