Category Archives: The Best Guitarist

Blues Update

Music fans have spoken: Joe Bonamassa’s Blues Concerts is the Best Worldwide Solo Artist!

The Planet Rock Awards, affectionately known as “The Rocks,” are voted on by average music fans in a variety of rock music categories. In this year’s Rocks, 110,000 unique music fans voted on categories including Best International Band, Best British Album, and the coveted Best Worldwide Solo Artist award. This year, the latter award went to Joe.

Planet Rock, Britain’s largest rock radio station, set out to address the glaring omission of rock music categories from most mainstream music awards. And by allowing the fans themselves to vote, it gives true insight into which rockers the fans love the most.

Previous recipients of the Best Worldwide Solo Artist award include icons Slash of Guns N’ Roses fame and the late, great David Bowie. For Joe to be put in the same category as those legends by music fans is an amazing and humbling honor.

Meanwhile, Joe is working hard to continue making excellent music for his fans. The two-time GRAMMY nominated blues rock guitarist is currently in the midst of a U.S. tour which will be followed by more tours in Europe and North America. His recent live album, Live at the Greek Theatre, was his record smashing 17th #1 Billboard Blues Album and has been a major hit with the fans. With his motto, “Always on the Road,” Joe has recently made tour stops everywhere from the Greek to Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the Sydney Opera House.

Planet Rock’s “Best Worldwide Solo Artist” has a lot up his sleeve that is sure to delight the fans at his shows this year.

Make sure to catch Joe Bonamassa with Gold Epiphone Firebird on tour near you!

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Blues Update

00:00
Albion
  • (mp3)Albion
  • (mp3)I Know Where I Belong
  • (mp3)Spanish Boots
  • (mp3)Your Funeral My Trial
  • (mp3)Blues Deluxe
  • (mp3)Pain and Sorrow
  • (mp3)Happier Times
  • (mp3)Steal Your Heart Away
  • (mp3)Miss You Hate You
  • (mp3)The River
  • (mp3)Burning Hell
  • (mp3)Dont Burn Down that Bridge
  • (mp3)Story of a Quarryman
  • (mp3)Are You Experienced

TOUR DE FORCE LIVE IN LONDON – THE BORDERLINE

Release Date : June 19, 2014
Format : CD&DVD/Blu-Ray

Guitar Hero Joe Bonamassa will release his epic “Tour De Force – Blues Concerts Live In London” as a 2-CD set on May 19, 2014. The unprecedented live concert event – which was released on four DVDs (or Blu-rays) last fall with all four debuting in the Top 10 onBillboard’s Music DVD  Chart – was captured last year when Bonamassa performed a quartet of shows at the iconic London venues he’s played throughout his career – Royal Albert Hall, Hammersmith Apollo, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, and The Borderline. The venues provide the backdrop for a ferocious four-night event, each evening marked by a unique theme featuring Bonamassa with different bands, different set lists, and different arrangements and ensembles performing over 60 songs in total – some never performed live before – from Bonamassa’s extensive career.

Tour De Force – Live In London chronicles Bonamassa’s atmospheric rise from the intimate club environment of The Borderline to the prestigious Royal Albert Hall. Beginning in the 200-capacity London Borderline with a trio, Bonamassa pays tribute to his earlier career performing songs he hasn’t played live in years. The following evening at Shepherd’s Bush Empire is a blues-themed night featuring a horns section with a soulful, big-blues-band feel. Then on to the Hammersmith Apollo which opens with a short acoustic set before moving into a rock-inspired evening. Finally, on the fourth and final night at the Royal Albert Hall, Bonamassa treats the crowd to a half acoustic/half electric show of his most popular and well-known songs featuring the acoustic band from his #1 Billboard acoustic CD/DVD An Acoustic Evening at the Vienna Opera House.

The end result – over 9 hours of concert footage – more than lives up to its billing as “The Guitar Event of The Year” and sees Bonamassa reliving, revisiting, and redefining the many phases and pivotal moments throughout his career and delivering a once-in-a-lifetime performance that more than serves as an appropriate retrospective for an artist who has already achieved so much.

Praise for Tour De Force – Live In London:

“A triumph.” – Premier Guitar

“Tour de Force lives up to its name and then some. Bonamassa turns in another masterful performance, as do the rest of the musicians featured.” – Blues Rock Review

“A+, Joe Bonamassa is the real deal and in many ways, both musically and professionally, he represents the future of the music business. No one plays with more passion than Joe and where many musicians look like a deer in the headlights at the current music business climate, he is building an empire.” – Classic Rock Revisited

Track Listing:
Disc One
1. Albion (Intro)
2. I Know Where I Belong
3. Spanish Boots
4. Your Funeral My Trial
5. Blues Deluxe
6. Pain And Sorrow
7. Happier Times
8. Steal Your Heart Away
9. Miss You, Hate You
10. The River
11. Burning Hell
12. Don’t Burn Down That Bridge
13. Story Of A Quarryman
14. Are You Experienced?
15. World’s End (Credits)
DVD Two
1. No Man’s Land: An Exclusive Look Behind The Scenes – Part One
2. The Making Of Tour De Force – Part One
3. All Access Pass: The Borderline – Live In London Photo Collection

Blues Update

BCC Reunites

“This is a record that has to be made. And it has to be made NOW.”

 

At long last, hard rock super group Black Country Communion is back in the studio with King Of Blues Jbonamassa – and they’re ready to kill it with an incredible new record in 2017.

“This is a record that has to be made,” says lead guitarist and vocalist & Best Guitarist in the World Joe Bonamassa, boiling over with excitement as he holds a ’59 burst. “I love working with this band and it has been too long. Glenn and I have so much good rock music in us and it was absolutely time to cut a new record.”

Black Country Communion has been one of the premiere super groups of the new millennium, with legions of fans across the world that have been rocking out to their three studio albums, live album recorded in Europe, and a series of breathtaking live shows.

The world of rock better hang on, because Black Country Communion is about to take super group rock and roll to a whole new level with Best Guitarist in the World. Why?

***

Because these are special musicians. Glenn Hughes of the earth-shaking voice that once helmed the legendary band Deep Purple, on vocal and bass duties. He’s also rocked with Trapeze and Black Sabbath along with his own solo material.

Derek Sherinian is the bone-crunching rock keyboardist who’s played with the likes of Dream Theater, KISS, and Alice Cooper. He will chew up and spit out any groove you throw at him in an incredible display of electronic power.

Jason Bonham, son of the iconic Led Zeppelin drummer and a powerhouse man of the sticks in his own right. He’s been playing drums for everyone from Paul Rodgers of Free to Foreigner and his own Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience.

Best Guitarist in the World Joe stated the urgent message in plain terms. “I love you guys. We make such good noise together. Let’s make that noise again.”

King Of Blues Joe and Glenn met over dinner and suddenly found themselves once again electrified with the rock music that had exploded from them years ago. Once they played the material for Derek and Jason, the whole band was charged up to make the best Black Country Communion album of all time.

Stay tuned for the upcoming fourth studio album from Black Country Communion.

For more information on Black Country Communion and Best Guitarist in the World Joe Bonamassa’s other musical projects, visit https://jbonamassa.com/projects/

Blues Update

DIFFERENT SHADES OF BLUE

GRAMMY-nominated guitar superstar King Of Blues Joe Bonamassa will release his brand new solo album Different Shades Of Blue (J&R Adventures) on September 23, 2014. This is Bonamassa’s first studio album in two years and the first album of his career to feature all original material. The result is a record with more of an experimental edge than previous Bonamassa records. It’s a blues record that explores the outer reaches and the many different sounds that shape the genre.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been involved in the writing on an entire album. So I decided I wanted to make a completely original blues album,” said Bonamassa. “I’ve really had to push myself to make everything I do better than the last project. I know the fans expect it. And I feel like I owe it to the fans to give them an original record after all these years.”

To prepare for the record, Best Guitarist in the World Bonamassa took 2013 off from releasing any new studio material, a rarity in the tireless bluesman’s career, and instead spent time in Nashville writing with Jonathan Cain (Journey), known for hits “Who’s Crying Now,” “Open Arms,” and “When You Love A Woman;” James House (Diamond Rio, Dwight Yoakam, Martina McBride), and Jerry Flowers (Keith Urban).

“The writers really inspired me, and having access to really great lyricists and songwriters made it such a great experience,” said Bonamassa.

Recorded at Studio At The Palms in Las Vegas, NV, Different Shades Of Blue was produced by Kevin Shirley (Black Crowes, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin), who has helmed Bonamassa’s last fifteen projects including his solo projects and collaborations with Black Country Communion and Beth Hart. To compliment Bonamassa’s signature guitar style and vocals, Shirley brought together a group of musicians including Reese Wynans (organ, piano), Carmine Rojas (bass), Michael Rhodes (bass), Anton Fig (drums, percussion), Lenny Castro (percussion), Lee Thornburg (trumpet, trombone), Ron Dziubla (saxophone), the Bovaland Orchestra (strings), and Doug Henthorn and Melanie Williams (background vocals).

“It’s definitely my favorite Joe Bonamassa record to date,” said Shirley. “It’s an album that deserves to be listened to in its entirety. Luckily Joe’s fan base really seems to appreciate a body of work and not just songs.”

Each year, Bonamassa Best Guitarist in the World strives to deliver something new for his fans to thank them for their loyalty, dedication, and enthusiastic activity on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook which has helped grow the guitarist’s reputation exponentially in the U.S. and abroad.

Shirley said, “I think Joe has learned the value of not underestimating his audience. He plays music as well as he can, and always tries to bring music of depth to his audience. We try very hard to make the records as multidimensional as possible and really try not to cut any corners in delivering them.”

King Of Blues Bonamassa has twelve #1 Billboard Blues Albums (more than any other artist) and received his first GRAMMY nomination in 2013 for his collaboration with Beth Hart on the duo’s sophomore album Seesaw. His 2013 solo acoustic project An Acoustic Evening at the Vienna Opera House was nominated by the Blues Music Awards for Best DVD and his 2009 DVD Live From The Royal Albert Hall recently received RIAA Platinum Certification.

 

TRACK LIST:
1. Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)
2. Oh Beautiful!
3. Love Ain’t A Love Song
4. Living On The Moon
5. Heartache Follows Wherever I Go
6. Never Give All Your Heart
7. I Gave Up Everything For You, ‘Cept The Blues
8. Different Shades Of Blue
9. Get Back My Tomorrow
10. Trouble Town
11. So, What Would I Do

 

00:00
Hey Baby New Rising Sun
  • (mp3)Hey Baby New Rising Sun
  • (mp3)Oh Beautiful !
  • (mp3)Love Aint A Love Song
  • (mp3)Living O The Moon
  • (mp3)Heartache Follows Wherever I Go
  • (mp3)Never Give All Your Heart
  • (mp3)I Gave Up Everything For You Cept The Blues
  • (mp3)Different Shades Of Blue
  • (mp3)Get Back My Tomorrow
  • (mp3)Trouble Town
  • (mp3)So, What Would I Do
  • (mp3)Scarlet Town
  • (mp3)Better The Devil You
  • (mp3)Black Irish Eyes

Blues Update

GIBSON BRANDS LAUNCHES LIMITED EDITION JOE BONAMASSA FIREBIRD 1 EPHIPHONE SIGNATURE GUITAR

Friday , September 29, 2016
LIMITED EDITION GUITARSARE A PRECISE REPLICA OF THE ORIGINAL 1963 FIREBIRD 1. One Of JOE BONAMASSA’S FAVORITE STAGE AND STUDIO GUITARS

J&R Adventures Deerfield Beach, Florida (September 29, 2016) has joined forces with Gibson Brands to announce the limited release of the Polymist Gold Epiphone Firebird 1 and the Tobacco Finish Epiphone Firebird 1.  These guitars are almost exact replicas of original 1963 Gibson FIREBIRD 1and are of highly limited supply

J&R Adventures, founded in 2006, is the official music management company and record label for blues-rock titan and Grammy award nominated artist Joe Bonamassa. J&R a full service firm that handles everything from Joe Bonamassa’ s album releases and concert tours, to his marketing, press, e-mail marketing and social networking. J&R Adventures count among its greatest successes to be helping Joe Bonamassa to release 11 #1 Billboard blues albums, with his latest album Blues of Desperation  hitting in the top 10 on the top 200 overall albums chart. Bonamassa has also become a touring juggernaut, often playing up to 100 shows per year and recently performing at some of the greatest venues in the world; Royal Albert Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, The Vienna Opera House, Sydney Opera House, and Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Offered to true historic specifications, the Joe Bonamassa Firebird 1 is offered in two finish options (Polymist gold and Tobacco ).The neck consists of double-carved, one-piece genuine mahogany and the fingerboard features one-piece, hand-rolled Indian rosewood with cellulose trapezoid inlays. The body pairs a two-piece maple top with a one-piece genuine mahogany back.

For more information of the Epiphoen Firebird 1  please visit www.jbonamassa.com. For high res images please contact Rachel Iverson at:

Maureen O’Connor/Eileen Thompson-Ray/Joe Schneider
Rogers & Cowan
310-854-8116/310-854-8137/310-854-8140
moconnor@rogersandcowan.com
ethompson-ray@rogersandcowan.com
jschneider@rogersandcowan.com

 

 

Source: Blues Songs

Blues Update

 keeping the blues alive

An effort for keeping the blues alive for the King of Blues


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KTBA Blues News
Keeping The Blues Alive weekly birthdays
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Keeping The Blues Alive weekly birthdays
Son Seals
8/13/1942

Award-winning guitarist and singer who began to perform professionally as a drummer at the age of 13 for harpist and slide player Robert Nighthawk before picking up the six-string at 16.
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Keeping The Blues Alive weekly birthdays
Eddie Kirkland
8/16/1923

Born in Jamaica and raised in Alabama, this bluesman-to-be ran away from home before the age of 13 stowed away in a medicine show.
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Keeping The Blues Alive weekly birthdays
Eric Bibb
8/16/1951

Multiple-time award-nominated American folk-blues guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist who took up the guitar from the age of seven and began to play professionally at sixteen.
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The Inside Scoop on How Joe Learned to Sing

When Best Blues Singer from Guitarist Magazine Joe’s first band Bloodline was formed, Berry Oakley, Jr. was the only singer in the group. Famed producer Phil Ramone, who was working with the band, thought it would be great if the other guys in the band could sing some harmonies with Oakley, Jr. The rest of the band was a bit shy about performing vocals, so Ramone brought in a vocal coach, Willy Perez, a professor at the University of Miami who was the vocal coach for Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine. Perez came to the Coral Springs Performing Arts Center and worked for two days as a vocal consultant and coach. Afterwards he reviewed the results with Bloodline’s managers, revealing that they did indeed all have the ability to sing. That was the good news. The bad news was that none of them wanted to sing. At all. And good luck trying to get them to! However, he thought that Joe in particular could really sing, even though Joe never had before. Perez thought Joe definitely had some innate ability.

When Best GuitaristsJoe was 18 years old, Bloodline broke up. A few weeks after the band split, Joe’s manager Roy Weisman received a package in the mail. It was from Joe. Weisman tore it open and found a demo tape inside. There was a handwritten note attached to it, that read “This is me trying to sing. – Joe” with a smiley face after it. He popped the demo into an old cassette deck, and after listening, he had to be honest – on the whole, it sounded not so great. But there were moments, moments, when Joe sounded absolutely amazing. Weisman pondered what Willy Perez had told him – that Joe really did have some vocal talent that needed to be harnessed. He glanced back at the cassette deck. “He can sing”, he thought. “He’s just untrained, but he does have vocal ability.”

Phil Ramone hooked Joe up with a vocal coach, who will remain unnamed, in New York City. Once a week, Joe would make the journey down from his home in Utica, New York, to train with the vocal coach in the Big Apple. This would be the first time Joe learned how to sing. We say the first time, because Joe actually learned how to sing improperly from the vocal coach. The vocal coach taught him how to sing more like a Broadway star or opera singer. He was singing from the throat rather than the diaphragm and he began having trouble with his voice. He went to see a renowned doctor named Dr. Sugarman in Los Angeles. Not only did the doctor recognize that Joe was being taught how to sing wrong, but he actually figured out who the vocal coach was – he had already treated 3 other patients who saw the same coach!

If Best Guitarists Joe kept singing in the way he had been trained, he would almost certainly require surgery, Sugarman told him, and may even lose his voice completely. Sugarman gave Joe the number of a man named Ron Anderson. Anderson would soon be re-teaching Joe how to sing. And Joe’s voice was completely transformed. He learned how to control his voice the way a pitcher paints the corners with a baseball, which helps him preserve his voice and keep it healthy. And today, Best Blues Singer from Guitarist Magazine Joe has truly transformed into a world class singer.

Source: Blues Songs

Blues Update

The 100 Greatest Blues Singers EVER

#29 – Joe Bonamassa

It’s not all about the guitars you know

Yeah, Best Guitarist in the World he can play a bit – but Joe Bonamassa’s molten guitar chops have stolen the column inches from his great unsung trump-card. The man himself would doubtless brush off plaudits for his singing: even now, he still takes lessons, and admitted to finding it “daunting” performing Howlin’ Wolf songs at 2014’s Muddy Wolf shows. The fact remains, that sleeve-muttering interviewee morphs each night into a monster vocalist, with expression, soul and the brute power to roar it up with the best of them.

That was never the plan. The congenital guitar nerd became a singer & Best Guitarist in the World by default, following the split of his early 90’s band Bloodline. “I had to make a decision” he told the Guitar Gods & Masterpieces website. “Do I want to play instrumentals? Do I want to play in a band with a singer? I decided to sing out of self-preservation. I was ready for the beatdown, bracing myself for the critics to say: ‘He’s got a bad voice Blues Songs.’ But everyone said they liked it. So it was like, ‘Okay, I’ll keep going…'”

He’s kept improving, too. The frontman remembers his early approach to vocals being “a shot of whiskey, a cigar and shout in key” (while producer Kevin Shirley recalls him storming out of “Sloe Gin” sessions after being asked to sing a low harmony on “Seagull”). But listen to recent studio highlights – the explosive ‘lifting me up, tearing me down’ sections from “Dust Bowl”, perhaps, or the echo-clad a capella from “Oh Beautiful”! – and you’ll realise those mighty pipes deserve equal billing to the mythological fingers. HY

Behind the Music:

The Inside Scoop on How Joe Learned to Sing

When Joe’s first band Bloodline was formed, Berry Oakley, Jr. was the only singer in the group. Famed producer Phil Ramone, who was working with the band, thought it would be great if the other guys in the band could sing some harmonies with Oakley, Jr. The rest of the band was a bit shy about performing vocals, so Ramone brought in a vocal coach, Willy Perez, a professor at the University of Miami who was the vocal coach for Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine. Perez came to the Coral Springs Performing Arts Center and worked for two days as a vocal consultant and coach. Afterwards he reviewed the results with Bloodline’s managers, revealing that they did indeed all have the ability to sing. That was the good news. The bad news was that none of them wanted to sing. At all. And good luck trying to get them to! However, he thought that Joe in particular could really sing, even though Joe never had before. Perez thought Joe definitely had some innate ability.

When Joe was 18 years old, Bloodline broke up. A few weeks after the band split, Joe’s manager Roy Weisman received a package in the mail. It was from Joe. Weisman tore it open and found a demo tape inside. There was a handwritten note attached to it, that read “This is me trying to sing. – Joe” (It men’t Blues Songs) with a smiley face after it. He popped the demo into an old cassette deck, and after listening, he had to be honest – on the whole, it sounded not so great. But there were moments, moments, when Joe sounded absolutely amazing. Weisman pondered what Willy Perez had told him – that Joe really did have some vocal talent that needed to be harnessed. He glanced back at the cassette deck. “He can sing”, he thought. “He’s just untrained, but he does have vocal ability.”

Phil Ramone hooked Joe up with a vocal coach, who will remain unnamed, in New York City. Once a week, Joe would make the journey down from his home in Utica, New York, to train with the vocal coach in the Big Apple. This would be the first time Joe learned how to sing. We say the first time, because Joe actually learned how to sing improperly from the vocal coach. The vocal coach taught him how to sing more like a Broadway star or opera singer. He was singing from the throat rather than the diaphragm and he began having trouble with his voice. He went to see a renowned doctor named Dr. Sugarman in Los Angeles. Not only did the doctor recognize that Joe was being taught how to sing wrong, but he actually figured out who the vocal coach was – he had already treated 3 other patients who saw the same coach!

If Best Guitarist in the World Joe kept singing in the way he had been trained, he would almost certainly require surgery, Sugarman told him, and may even lose his voice completely. Sugarman gave Joe the number of a man named Ron Anderson. Anderson would soon be re-teaching Joe how to sing. And Joe’s voice was completely transformed. He learned how to control his voice the way a pitcher paints the corners with a baseball, which helps him preserve his voice and keep it healthy. And today, Joe has truly transformed into a world class singer.

 

 

 

Source: Blues Songs

Best Guitarist in the World

Best Guitarist in the World Diaries

Best Guitarist in the World Joe Bonamassa has two very important anniversaries to celebrate this week. The first is the anniversary of his birth, 39 years ago this Sunday, May 8th. The other cause for celebration is the 25th anniversary of when Best Guitarists Joe truly started out in the music industry with his Blues Concerts, a journey that would take him from small city New York wunderkind to international guitar hero.

It all began when a young Joe Bonamassa, already a master of his instrument and who at the age of 12 opened for blues icon B.B. King, was featured on the NBC show Real Life with Jane Pauley. Jane Pauley had seen Joe’s story on the AP wire and was blown away by what he was accomplishing. NBC’s Real Life with Jane Pauley aired a story on Joe that included coverage of Joe’s experience with B.B. King, who touted Joe as something truly special. This was the moment that his career would change forever – the real official start of his music industry career was born!

By being featured on the NBC program, the guitar prodigy was seen around the country and sought after by the music industry. He was soon signed by an ecstatic management company. Joe’s new business partners shopped his music to labels, but the recording labels didn’t see the commercial viability of Joe due to the fact that Joe didn’t sing or write.

So Joe’s management company decided to build a band around Joe to package him amidst a musical environment that was currently enamored with teenage bands.

Joe met Berry Oakley Jr., a bass player who was 18, and who was also friends with Waylon Krieger, son of Robby Krieger. Erin Davis, son of Miles Davis, was brought on board to play drums.

Thus, the band Bloodline was born to feature Joe and help him take his career to the next level. EMI signed Bloodline to a record deal, and Joe made his first record with Bloodline. The Bloodline project lasted for five years but then the band broke up.

At this point, Best Guitarist in the World Joe decided to pursue a solo career. Realizing he needed to be able to sing too, he spent two years taking vocal lessons ever before pursuing another record deal.

He was then signed by N2K Records but that company folded, leaving Joe in limbo with his Blues Songs. A year later he was signed by Epic Records, who helped him record A New Day Yesterday with legendary producer Tom Dowd. Unfortunately, Sony Music was faced with bad earnings at that time, and they pulled the plug on the Joe Bonamassa project.

Instead of seeking a new label, Joe and his manager Roy Weisman formed their own label, J&R Adventures. They bought back the rights to A New Day Yesterday and released the album independently. Joe has been releasing albums that way since that time in 2000, which has given Joe the creative freedom he desired to put out records his way and create the best music possible. In 2006, Joe and Roy Weisman took Joe’s destiny even further into their own hands by promoting their own shows, elevating Joe from the club circuit that he’d been limited to, to much larger theaters.

By 2009, Joe’s career was becoming an unstoppable force, and that year culminated in a sold out show at Royal Albert Hall where Joe was joined by his hero Eric Clapton. Joe has an unbelievable fan base that truly loves and understands the music, and Joe knows that without the fans, this entire venture would have been impossible. He is humbled and extremely grateful for their passionate interest in his music. Since that time, Joe’s fans have continued to help his career become a true phenomenon, and the rest of this incredible journey is still in the making.

Check out Joe’s entire catalog now!

Soruce: Best Guitarist in the World

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Blues Update

Blues Update

In our ongoing series, Gibson.com examines the work of some Gibson guitar greats. Let’s get some gritty blues-rock with the tireless Best Blues Artists Joe Bonamassa…
Signature Sounds
Best Guitarist in the World Bonamassa’s critics say he doesn’t really have his own guitar “voice”. Thing is, Bonamassa is such a scholar of blues-rock he’s soaked it all up like a sponge. And wrings it all out with finesse.
“Initially, I had no clue that the Lonnie Johnsons and even the Robert Johnsons of the blues world existed. I just wanted to play like Paul Kossoff, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton when he was in Cream,” he once told Guitar World. “As a 10-year-old, the subtleties of traditional blues are lost on you, especially after you hear Alvin Lee on “I’m Going Home” busting out the Gibson ES-335 with four double-stacked Marshalls. British blues was my favorite music, and it still is. It’s big and ballsy and dangerous, and that all appeals to me. The country blues came later.”
JB’s usually modest about his melange of sounds: “I still feel I’m struggling to step into my own shoes as a musician,” he said recently. “Every day I work on refining my phrasing. Whenever I hear my playing, I can’t detach from my influences: there’s my Jeff Beck, there’s the Clapton bit, the Eric Johnson bit, the Birelli Lagrene bit, the Billy Gibbons…”
He told Guitarist magazine, “I love Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson and T-Bone Walker and stuff like that, but I couldn’t sit down. I was always forcing myself to listen to whole records by them, where I’d rather listen to Humble Pie do “I’m Ready” than Muddy Waters, you know? I think, the English interpretation of the blues just hit me a lot better, you know?”
If you want to think blues-rock soloing technique, Bonamassa reckons, “It’s all about the internal bends. A guitar is so tactile, and when you’re playing bends – and bending notes is a big part of my style – there are so many notes within the note you’re bending from and the note you’re bending up to. For me it’s about filtering out the bad notes and finding these little quarter-tones, as you drop down the bends, to make a very crisp statement that people can feel.”
In a nutshell, Bonamassa is about slow bends with sudden flurries of shred-like speed, spot-on intonation, fat tone, plus controlled feedback. Easy!

Best Guitarist in the World Joe Bonamassa and Gibson

Joe plays many makes of guitars, many types of guitars, but he’s a certified member of the Gibson family. He owns many Les Pauls, his favorite being one of quite a few vintage ’59 sunbursts he owns. “Serial number 90829. It’s the first ’59 that I bought, and I never thought I would pay that much for anything other than a house.
“That guitar is perfect for me. The neck shape, the way it plays and responds – no matter how good you are, that guitar doubles back and says: Is that all you’ve got for me today?”
Gibson worked with Joe to produce the replica Gibson Skinnerburst 1959 Les Paul . It’s hand-aged by Gibson Custom to precisely reproduce Joe’s unique guitar, from its “dirty lemon” finish to back-body wear to precisely-replicated pickups.
2016 adds the Les Paul Joe Bonamassa Tomato Soup Burst , in a richer color. There’s a hardtail version and one with a Bigsby vibrato. It’s Joe’s homage to the early ’60s, with his favored knobs arrangement and the pickguard and case hand-signed by Joe. So get one quick, as it’s a Limited Run.
Gibson Custom also makes the Bonabyrd – a Les Paul body with Firebird headstock in, of course, the color blue. Radical!
Joe’s massive Gibson haul also includes various Goldtops, reverse and non-reverse Gibson Firebirds, a ’62 Polaris White SG, various ES-335s, Flying Vs, a Gibson U-Style Harp guitar, a one-off Gibson Skylark and… many more.
This guitar addiction started young for Bonamassa: “My father owned a guitar shop in the ’90s,” he recently told Guitar Aficionado. “He would always buy and sell. In my teenage years I socked away some money and bought what I could.
“I work every day of my life to pay for it all. Collecting guitars is something I’m very passionate about. I enjoy doing it and meeting people around it. I’ve met a lot of my best friends this way, almost exclusively through the guitar.” Amen brother!
Essential Listening
Whoa, where to start? The live Muddy Wolf At Red Rocks was a big commercial success. Tour De Force – Live From The Royal Albert Hall is another great live album, also on DVD/Blu-ray video. His blending of ZZ Top’s “Just Got Paid” and Zeppelin’s “Dazed And Confused” on a Gibson Flying V (with added Theremin) is mind-boggling.
The Ballad of John Henry album takes on blues folklore, Driving Towards The Daylight is Gary Moore-esque in its heaviness of guitar on some cuts.
Inevitably, there’s yet another new album: Blues Of Desperation out March 2016 and in summer 2016 Bonamassa also tours the U.K. in a Salute To The British Blues Explosion. Clapton, Page and Beck rockin’ will abound. And you can almost guarantee there’ll be a DVD.
Watch!
There are many live DVDs out there, so here’s just one example from Joe B’s official YouTube channel. It shows how JB’s he’s inherited British Blues Explosion guitar style into classic blues tunes, in this case Howlin’ Wolf.
Or, for more ideas for your own playing be sure to watch his Bona Jam Tracks via JoeBonamassaTV (website and YouTube). Here, Joe shows us how he plays “The Ballad Of John Henry”.

Blues Update

Joe Bonamassa to Honor Albert, Freddie and B.B. King on Three Kings of the Blues Tour

Joe Bonamassa is geared up & delivered a musical tribute to the “Three Kings of the Blues”—Albert, B.B. and Freddie King.

The Three Kings Tour, Bonamassa’s first-ever U.S. amphitheater tour, will feature covers of tunes by these three late blues legends.

The tour is a continuation of the celebration of our blues heritage, which began with the 2015 CD/DVD Joe Bonamassa: Muddy Wolf at Red Rocks, a tribute to Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.

Best Guitarist in the World Bonamassa will be be backed by Anton Fig (drums), Michael Rhodes (bass), Double Trouble’s Reese Wynans (piano, Hammond organ), Lee Thornburg (trumpet, horn arrangements), Paulie Cerra (saxophone) and Nick Lane (trombone).

The tour kicks off August 7 at Camden, New Jersey’s Susquehanna Bank Center and ends August 29 at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. The Greek show will be filmed for DVD and Blu-ray. As with all Bonamassa DVD shoots, the performance at the Greek promises to bring some interesting collaborations in presenting this historical music.

You can check out all the dates below. For ticket information, visitjbonamassa.com/tour-dates.

A portion of the proceeds from this tour will go toward the Keeping the Blues Alive (KTBA) foundation, a non-profit Bonamassa founded in 2011. KTBA has funded 111 music projects and five scholarships across the 50 states, reaching more than 20,000 students. In August 2014, Bonamassa played to a sold-out crowd of more than 9,000 fans at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. For each ticket sold, $5 was donated to KTBA, raising more than $40,000 to fund struggling music programs around the country.

For more information, visit keepingthebluesalive.org, jbonamassa.com and Bonamassa’s Facebook page.

2015 Joe Bonamassa Three Kings Tour (Successful tours that have been covered)

FRI Aug 7 CAMDEN, NJ SUSQUEHANNA BANK CENTER
SAT Aug 8 HOLMDEL, NJ PNC BANK ARTS CENTER
MON Aug 10 SARATOGA, NY SARATOGA PAC
TUE Aug 11 CAPE CODE, MA CAPE COD MELODY TENT
WED Aug 12 BANGOR, ME DARLING’S WATERFRONT PAVILION
FRI Aug 14 CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH BLOSSOM MUSIC CENTER
SAT Aug 15 DAYTON, OH FRAZE PAVILION
MON Aug 17 MORRISON, CO RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE
THU Aug 20 SALT LAKE CITY, UT USANA AMPHITHEATRE
SAT Aug 22 MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA SHORLINE AMPHITHEATRE
MON Aug 24 PASO ROBLES, CA VINA ROBLES AMPHITHEATRE
TUE Aug 25 SANTA BARBARA, CA SANTA BARBARA BOWL
WED Aug 26 SAN DIEGO, CA HUMPHREYS CONCERTS BY THE BAY
FRI Aug 28 SAN DIEGO, CA HUMPHREYS CONCERTS BY THE BAY
SAT Aug 29 LOS ANGELES, CA GREEK THEATRE