In 2000, the Tom Dowd-produced, covers-strewn A New Day Yesterday introduced Joe Bonamassa as a thrusting yet derivative blues talent.
Two decades on, Bonamassa has remixed, re-sung, re-titled and remastered that debut. He’s added three previously unheard demos, including a storming assault on Bob Dylan’s I Want You, produced by one of his first patrons, Steve Van Zandt. The question is, of course: why?
According to Bonamassa, it’s some kind of tribute to Dowd, who died in 2002, but he’s long swapped this overly reverential approach for superior, more innovative material.
Still, A New Day Yesterday was a pointer to better times ahead. Now being older and wiser, Bonamassa has brought new value: his vocals have improved beyond recognition; he brings new wounded experience to his own Headaches To Heartbreaks, while he sounds authoritative rather than hopeful on Al Kooper’s Nuthin’ I Wouldn’t Do (For A Woman Like You).