On March 25, hot on the heels of their GRAMMY nomination, force-of-nature blues-rock vocalist Beth Hart and guitar hero Joe Bonamassa will deliver Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa – Live In Amsterdam (2DVD/Blu-ray/2CD) – the very first live experience from one of music's most powerful female voices and one of the world's greatest guitar players. Against the backdrop of the beautiful, historic Koninklijk Theater Carre in Amsterdam, the performance wows with scorching soul covers from the duo's 2011 debut album Don't Explain and 2013 follow-up Seesaw, originally made famous by artists such as Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Billie Holiday, Tom Waits, Ray Charles, Donnie Hathaway, Lucinda Williams, Bill Withers, Delaney & Bonnie, Buddy Miles, Tina Turner, Slackwax, Melody Gardot, Nina Simone, and more.
This project was born from what Hart, Bonamassa, and Bonamassa's long-time producer Kevin Shirley call a "crazy idea" to record a catalog of songs in a way that recalls the days when a band recorded live in the studio with little or no overdubs; the days when the vocalist was happy when a take was done regardless of personal performance.
"What we're trying to capture is an era of reaction and spontaneity – something that was a great inspiration for me as a budding musician," explained Bonamassa. "It's a bygone era in lieu of modern times and digital studio manipulation. We wanted to do the exact opposite of that for this live concert. There were no nets and what you hear is what was sung and played that night."
Both Hart and Bonamassa were heavily influenced by these songs and the artists who originally performed them. "We're doing these amazing cover songs and in doing them, and what's so great about doing them, is that it shows part of what excited us and made us want to become artists when we were young and just starting out," said Hart. "You can see that a lot of this was an influence with me, and Joe, and the other musicians, you can hear it in the way everyone plays and performs. This was music that they loved, that touched them. And when you do covers, you get to make them personal. That was part of the goal – to make it like it's your story too. Otherwise how does it come across sincere? I think that's one of the challenges and it's very fulfilling if we feel like we're doing that."
The one-two punch of Hart's powerhouse vocals and Bonamassa's blistering solos both honors and reinvents the original recordings. Featuring 22 songs and over two hours of bonus and behind-the-scenes footage, the sonic pairing that critics everywhere are calling a "match made in heaven" are backed by the same world class band that kept the grooves going on both albums: Anton Fig (drums, percussion), Carmine Rojas (bass), Blondie Chaplin (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), Arlan Schierbaum (keyboards). This time out, their mighty sound is augmented by a horn section, with Lee Thornburg (trumpet and percussion), Ron Dziubla (saxophone and percussion), and Carlos Perez Alfonso (trombone and percussion).
1. Amsterdam, Amsterdam!
2. Them There Eyes
3. Sinner's Prayer
4. Can't Let Go
5. For My Friends
6. Close To My Fire
8. Something's Got A Hold On Me
9. Your Heart Is As Black As Night
10. Chocolate Jesus
11. Baddest Blues
12. Someday After Awhile (You'll Be Sorry)
13. Beth introduces the band
14. Well, well
15. If I Tell You I Love You
16. See Saw
17. Strange Fruit
18. Miss Lady
19. I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know
20. Nutbush City Limits
21. I'd Rather Go Blind
22. Antwerp Jam (Credits)
Twitter: @JBONAMASSA, @BethHart