These ten original tracks were co-written by Joe and a cast of homegrown notables including former Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden, ex Cream lyricist Pete Brown and national treasure piano man Jools Holland.
"Writing this record in London has done its job," reflects Bonamassa. "It really does sound inherently British. Bernie and I, we finish each other’s sentences. We’re cut from the same cloth."
Bonamassa’s long-standing producer Kevin Shirley and regular touring band flew in for the recording sessions, which included Anton Fig (drums), Michael Rhodes (bass) and Reese Wynans (keys).
'Lookout Man' has a heavy bass start before this angry and aggressive sounding track starts smacking you full on in the face. There is also some great harp infused throughout.
'Savannah' is a picker's delight to start moving into a very southern feel with a fabulous vibe and is just a wonderful tune. Vocally superb with a very uplifting chorus.
'High Class Girl' has a Chicago Blues vibe with a sultry and risqué sound throughout. Another fabulously constructed track, and this is followed by 'A Conversation With Alice', which has a great sound from the off with slide and a wonderful opening section before the story unfolds and then leads us back to the vibe that reminds me of a 70's southern rock classic.
'I Didn't Think She Would Do It' is just a high octane full throttle musical explosion that hurtles along at a great pace.
'Beyond The Silence' slows the pace with a haunting and searching sound matched perfectly by the meaningful almost ghostly vocals, before a full throttle finale with 'Lonely Boy'. It is very 40's swing in style with a wonderful bass that can be heard throughout. This would bring the swing and jive out in most people. A great and full on finale that will leave you breathless.
'Royal Tea' is a wonderful collection of an artist at the top of his game matched with some of music's biggest stars.
'When One Door Opens' has an orchestral start before a sultry guitar beckons us into this opening track with an explosion of musical fireworks in the middle. A real full blooded first track, before the title track 'Royal Tea', which has a definite Beatles vibe to start which is quite apt as this was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, before we are taken on a voyage aboard HMS Blues with some old school sounds with a modern twist.
'Why Does It Take Me So Long To Say Goodbye' is much more of a ballad but in a Gary Moore style with some fabulous guitar and great vocals. A wonderful track that has everything.
This is without a doubt one of my favourite Joe Bonamassa albums already and is just a joy to listen to. This is in no way a boring every song sounds the same album, it is full of different styles and collaborations and has a wonderful production that presents it all to us in the best possible way.
TFM gives 'Royal Tea' a fully brewed 5/5. Highly recommend this album to any lovers of real music, and would definitely suggest buying it when released on October 23rd via Provogue/Mascot Label Group.
Available at the following links:- https://shop.jbonamassa.com/collections/royal-tea