|Joe BonamassaBlues-rock guitar virtuoso, vocalist and songwriter Joe Bonamassa kicked off 2007 with the honor of being named Best Blues Guitarist by Guitar Player Magazine's readership in their annual Reader's Choice Awards. The year continues with the release of Sloe Gin, Bonamassa's seventh solo album, and fourth on his own J&R Adventures label. A mix of heavy blues, big rock and textured acoustic tracks that Joe says was in part inspired by Rod Stewart's legendary 1969 debut solo LP, it reunites him with producer Kevin Shirley (Joe Satriani, Black Crowes, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin).Shirley previously produced Bonamassa's You & Me, which debuted at #1 on Billboard's Blues chart in June 2006 (all of Joe's albums have either hit #1 or gone Top 10). Modern Guitars Magazine called the disc, "one of the best blues-rock CDs to come about in quite a while...destined to be a classic." NPR host George Graham wrote, "Almost four decades ago, British rockers who played bluesy guitar became the heroes on their instruments, people like Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. Joe Bonamassa carries on that tradition...Bonamassa is in every way their equal."Widely renowned for his insanely fluid phrasing and post-modern fusion of electric British blues, traditional Delta blues and rock 'n roll chops, Bonamassa told Guitar Player in '05, "When I play blues, I try to think a little outside the box, while still paying tribute to the founding fathers like Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson." His latest work pushes the envelope even further -- "Sloe Gin," says Joe, "is different than anything I've ever done. We bettered You & Me. The songs are more refined, and I was concentrating on them as a whole rather than only thinking about a 50-bar guitar solo. Also, singing is a bigger part of it for me than ever before, and it's awesome to have that space -- to connect with fans on a musical and lyrical level."