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Rock Candy Funk Party: We Want Groove

Blues star channels his inner Harlem pimp.

Joe Bonamassa’s tendency to use the word ‘cats’ in interviews has always hinted that he has latent funk leanings. And so it proves on his hook-up here with Tal Bergman and Ron DeJesus’s revolving-door LA outfit.

At its best, We Want Groove prompts involuntary shape-throwing from men who should know better, with the buttery squelch of Octopus-e and the blaxploitation rug-cut of Spaztastic both coming on like near-miss pitches for the Shaft theme. Elsewhere, like so much instrumental improv, it vamps itself into a corner: New York Song is a six-minute snooze; and if you agree with the title of late-night dreamscape The Best Ten Minutes Of Your Life, then you’ve had a pretty sheltered one.

We’ve had blues Bonamassa, soul Bonamassa, hard rock Bonamassa… You have to applaud the man’s talent for skin-shedding, but, despite some strong moments, you suspect this one might drop off his CV.

Henry Yates has been a freelance journalist since 2002 and written about music for titles including The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Classic Rock, Guitarist, Total Guitar and Metal Hammer. He is the author of Walter Trout's official biography, Rescued From Reality, a music pundit on Times Radio and BBC TV, and an interviewer who has spoken to Brian May, Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie Wood, Dave Grohl, Marilyn Manson, Kiefer Sutherland and many more.