Founding Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden and Cream lyricist Pete Brown are among the artists who collaborated with Joe Bonamassa on the acclaimed blues guitarist’s upcoming studio album, Royal Tea, which will be released on October 23.
The album was recorded at London’s famed Abbey Road Studios and inspired by Bonamassa’s British musical heroes: Jeff Beck, John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin and Cream. Joe co-wrote the songs in London with Marsden, Brown, former Squeeze keyboardist Jools Holland and others.
“Writing this record in London has done its job,” says Bonamassa of Royal Tea. “It really does sound inherently British. Bernie and I, we finish each other’s sentences. We’re cut from the same cloth.”
Marsden was member of Whitesnake from 1978 to 1982, and co-wrote quite a few songs for the band, including “Here I Go Again.” Brown wrote the lyrics for several of Cream’s most famous tunes, including “I Feel Free,” “White Room,” “Sunshine of Your Love,” “Politician,” and “SWLABR.”
Backing Joe on the record are the members of his touring band — drummer Anton Fig, bassist Michael Rhodes and keyboardist Reese Wynans. Wynans is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 2015 with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble. The album is available for pre-order now.
In advance of Royal Tea’s release, Bonamassa plans to perform the album in its entirety at a special livestreamed concert scheduled for September 20 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Some proceeds raised from tickets sold to the online event will benefit Joe’s Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation and its Fueling Musicians Program, which helps musicians in need because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more details, visit JBonamassa.com.
By Matt Friedlander
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