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It's often said that if you work alongside brilliant artists, it makes you up your game. From the virtuoso piano into from Reese Wynans, it's clear that Joe Bonamassa has done just that. Of course, JB was a child prodigy and is widely regarded as one of the great modern bluesmen, so the step up was never going to be huge. Yet, there's something about the way this new live album flows, that firmly proves his credentials to any naysayers.

Recorded in 2016, the tracks are almost exclusively taken from his acclaimed Blues of Desperation album. In fact, it's almost worth trading in a copy of that album for this one due to the energy that leaps from the record. Mounting Climbing, How Deep This River Runs and Love Ain't A Love Song are all excellent highlights. The entire band and backing singing are simply superb, you'd be hard pressed to find another record that is quite as tight as this one.

Perhaps it's the pints of Fosters, Tim Tams, or lashings of Vegemite that makes this record sound so good. Or more likely, years of being on the road and playing alongside some of the best musicians in the biz has paid off for everyone involved. Live at the Sydney Opera House shows Bonamassa is at his best when playing in front of an audience and as a result it's one of the best albums he's ever put out.

Groupie rating 5/5

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