Joe Bonamassa is a busy musician. Later this month he will release his 10th solo album, “Driving Towards the Daylight.” It arrives just a little more than a year since his last album, “Dust Bowl.”
He also released a collaboration with Beth Hart, “Don’t Explain,” in 2011 and a second album with the blues-rock supergroup Black Country Communion as well.
In June he starts work on another Black Country Communion album, and early next year he plans to head back into the studio with Hart.
Despite the fevered pace with which the 34-year-old tours and records, he doesn’t see burning out as an option.
“If I was just doing solo albums, I probably would burn out,” Bonamassa said during a phone interview. “But these projects are all so randomly different that it keeps things fresh by design.”
For instance, his collaboration with Hart was a cover album, with her and Bonamassa singing together on songs by Ray Charles, Etta James, Bill Withers and Aretha Franklin. Bonamassa said the inspiration for the album was hearing recordings of Ike and Tina Turner opening for The Rolling Stones at Madison Square Garden. The Turners’ set was comprised mostly of amped-up covers of songs like “Come Together” and “Proud Mary.” He reached out to Hart to see if she might be interested in a collaboration, and four months later the two were in the studio.
“If you have great songs, a great band and a great singer, that’s a winning combo. It doesn’t matter who wrote them,” Bonamassa said. “Beth is a superstar, in my opinion, and ‘Don’t Explain’ is the little album that could.”
Meanwhile, Black Country Communion is a callback to the English blues rock that first got Bonamassa interested in music. The group features Deep Purple frontman Glenn Hughes on vocals, Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian and Jason Bonham (son of Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham) on drums.
But with the upcoming “Driving Towards the Light,” Bonamassa was looking to take a step back closer to the blues. He had recorded his last few solo albums overseas, but for “Driving” Bonamassa decided to record in America again. That was motivated in part by not wanting to drag his material thousands of miles, but also a desire to get back to his roots.
“With ‘Driving Towards the Daylight’ I really wanted to play blues again. Fine, traditional, American-style blues where you don’t take no for an answer,” Bonamassa said.
“It’s a very odd situation, being an American kid involved with the revitalization of British blues, but I thought it was time to revisit where it all started.”
When: 8 p.m. Thursday
Where: Civic Center of Greater Des Moines, 221 Walnut St.