News of the World gives Joe 5-Star

WE knew he was going to be good… we just didn’t know HOW good.

Until now, the American guitar hero- who’s been dubbed “the new king of the blues”- has been steadily building his fanbase in this country.

But with the release of his new Black Rock album, things seem to have reached critical mass for the 33-year-old, who was playing Jimi Hendrix tunes note-for-note when he was just (and prepare to be amazed here) SEVEN.

So it’s obvious that tonight, his biggest show in Scotland to date, is going to be a bit special.

And typically he starts as he means to go on, playing a blistering solo as he walks on stage to begin a jaw-dropping two-hour set that’s crammed with one virtuoso performance after another.

The relentless riff of Rory Gallagher’s Cradle Rock kickstarts things but he quickly slows down the tempo for the slow crawl of So Many Roads, receiving the first of many well-deserved bursts of applause after a typically electrifying solo. FURIOUS

After a fiery version of Mose Allison’s Young Man Blues (also a favourite with The Who at their bovver-booted best), his band leaves him alone onstage with an acoustic guitar for the incredible woke Woke Up Dreaming, which sees him work the quiet/loud dynamic for all it’s worth, shiftin between eerily quiet picking to a furious, frantic noise that seems almost impossible to be coming just from one guitar.It’s an extended masterclass in guitar genius and it’s a reminder why he’s so celebrated by masters like Eric Clapton, BB King- and almost anyone else who ever tried to fret a note.

After the soaring ballad that is Mountain Time he returns with Snadi Thom to duet on a classy version of Bird On A Wire.

He ends with a stunning medley of the ZZ Top classic Just Got Paid and Zeppelin’s Dazed And Confused.

He leaves to a standing ovation from the sell-out crow that continues long after he’s back in the dressing room. Brilliant.

JUDE DEANE

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