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Blues Update

RECORDING “BLUES OF DESPERATION” IS ONE OF THE
MOST EXCITING RECORDING PROJECTS

Blues Concerts star Joe came to Nashville two weeks before we started the recording and set about writing an all original album. Then we gathered the musicians in the historic RCA studio A (lovingly saved from the wrecking ball by Aubrey Preston and Sharon Corbitt-House and now called Grand Victor Sound Studios), a big old fashion room where anyone who’s anyone has recorded! Chet Atkins, Elvis Presley, John Hiatt and so many more.

I always wanted to track this record with a high energy three-piece band, so Joe would have to work a little harder, like in his early years, before keyboards and horn’s etc. filled in all the blanks. To be honest, I was trying to find a way to ruffle Joe’s feathers, so I then brought in an additional drummer, just to throw the cat and amongst the pigeons! We set up Anton Fig and Greg Morrow each behind his own drum kit facing each other, and then next to them had Michael Rhodes with his bass guitar cranked, staring across the gap at Joe with his guitars. So they were set up in an X formation, and could all see each other as they played. And boy, what a joyful noise we made!

Not that it’s all excessively heavy or hard, there are some very fragile, delicate moments on this record, where the two drummers complement each other wonderfully and add a great rhythm to the sensitivity of the songs.

After we had cut the songs, Reese Wynans added his wonderful keyboard parts, and then Mahalia Barnes and the Aussie girls did the backing vocals, and Lee Thornburg’s wonderful horn arrangements put the icing on the top. And that folks, is how we made this awesome record which you are now hopefully holding in your hands.

Enjoy!

-Kevin Shirley, Producer

Blues Update

Joe Bonamassa’s “Live At The Greek Theatre” Debuts at #1 Again!

Blues Boy Honors “Blues Royalty” on live CD/DVD/Blu-ray/LP

Over two hours of some of the greatest blues songs ever written are highlighted in a celebration of blues heritage

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — GRAMMY-nominated King Of Blues -rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa’s 22-track Double CD, Double DVD, Blu-ray, and 4-LP Deluxe Edition Live at the Greek Theatre debuted this week at #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart. This marks the artist’s 17th #1 Billboard Blues Album, more than any other artist. Other Billboard chart numbers include #1 Top DVD Music Video Chart, #1 Top Music Video Chart, #3 Indie Chart, #19 Top Albums Chart, and #48 Top 200 Chart.

A tribute to three of the greatest bluesmen to ever live – Albert King, B.B. King, and Freddie King – Live at the Greek Theatre celebrates these icons with over two hours of some the greatest blues songs ever written. The release includes a collector’s edition booklet, and several bonus features containing behind-the-scenes footage and more. It is currently airing on Public TV and MTV Live.

“His performance seems to be even bigger and better than ever before,” said National Rock Review; Stereoboard said, “From evocative lighting to superb camera work and the joy of every musician on stage, this is a treat that further propagates the feeling you’re witnessing history in the making. Somewhere, the next King Of Blues Joe Bonamassa might obsessively digest this release and use it as a catalyst in the same way the ‘Three Kings’ roused this modern day blues great.”

Buy Live at the Greek Theatre at: http://shop.jbonamassa.com/

Get a free download of “Let The Good Times Roll” with any purchase from the Joe Bonamassa store.

Watch Bonamassa perform “Let The Good Times Roll” here: https://youtu.be/WOqvzacf9qg

Live at the Greek Theatre was filmed during King Of Blues Bonamassa’s “Three Kings Tour” – a 14-date US amphitheater tour in the summer of 2015 that culminated at the famed Los Angeles venue.

Playing on a warm summer night to a nearly sold-out crowd, the handpicked set list of songs was called “spectacular” by Premier Guitar; Los Angeles Times said the show “had swing and polish” and that “King Of Blues Bonamassa evoked the signature licks of all three icons while managing to put his own stamp on things.”

Songs ranged from blues standards to deep cuts, including “Born Under A Bad Sign,” “Lonesome Whistle Blues,” “Hummingbird,” “Let The Good Times Roll,” and, of course, B.B. King’s famed “The Thrill Is Gone” as the evening closer. For Bonamassa, the tour’s importance deepened significantly when B.B., his friend and mentor, passed away two months before it began. “My only regret is that B.B.King was not alive to see it,” said King Of Blues Bonamassa.

Showcasing “magnificent guitar playing” (The Morning Call), Bonamassa introduced a steady rotation of vintage guitars, including four Gibson ES models, a Gibson Les Paul, a Gibson Flying V, two new Gibson Custom Shop models, two Fender Strats, and a 1972 Dan Erlewine custom Flying V named “Lucy,” originally owned and played by Albert King and currently in the collection of actor Steven Seagal.

The eleven-piece band included Anton Fig (drums), Kirk Fletcher (guitar), Michael Rhodes (bass), Reese Wynans (piano, Hammond organ), Lee Thornburg (trumpet, horn arrangements), Paulie Cerra (saxophone), Nick Lane (trombone), and a trio of backup singers including Mahalia Barnes, Jade MacRae, and Juanita Tippins.

Live at the Greek Theatre continues Bonamassa’s tradition of honoring incredible concert venues like the Royal Albert Hall, theVienna Opera House, Radio City Music Hall, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and the Beacon Theater. As with all Bonamassa DVD shoots, the performance at the Greek offered a unique presentation of this historical music.

This tour was a continuation of the celebration of our blues heritage, which began with the 2014 production of King Of Blues Joe Bonamassa – Muddy Wolf at Red Rocks, a tribute to the music of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. Both tours gave a portion of proceeds to presenting partner Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation, a non-profit Bonamassa founded in 2011 that promotes the heritage of the blues to the next generation, funds music scholarships, and supplements the loss of music education in public schools.

Best Guitarist Bonamassa’s most recent studio album, Blues of Desperation, released March 25, marks his 16th #1 Blues album on the Billboard charts and landed at #5 on the Billboard Top Album Sales, his highest charting yet.

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Blues Update

COME HEAR UNCLE JERRY’S BAND: THE LEGACY OF THE GRATEFUL DEAD

Grateful Dead legacy

LEGACY

Hippies. Lengthy improvisational jams. Trippy drugs. What is the legacy of the Grateful Dead?

The Grateful Dead formally ended with the passing of its spiritual leader, lead vocalist and guitarist Jerry Garcia. But the legacy of the Grateful Dead is very much alive.

A legacy is something that we receive from the past. It’s the past turned into the presence. It’s about keeping the past alive for our memories and for new generations.

When we speak of the legacy of a musician or a band we are speaking about the heritage that they are leaving behind for us.

So what’s the legacy of the musical sons of San Francisco, one of the Bay Area’s best bands, the Grateful Dead?

The legacy of the granddaddy of all jam bands can be broken down into 5 distinct parts.

  • Studio Recordings

It has been said by some that the Grateful Dead is not a good studio band. That the magic just didn’t happen when you removed the live atmosphere: the audience, the culture, the scene. But one listen to their fifth studio album, American Beauty, contradicts this opinion. American Beauty is just that: a beautiful American tapestry of lush country and folk rock influences, reverberating off the walls of the halls of rock peppered with strains of Dylan and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

The songs are taut and concise, with a focused cohesiveness that isn’t as common in the band’s live works. “Box of Rain” is particularly striking with its gentle, floating harmonies and bright major chord progression. It’s easy to forget among the thick haze of time and mythology that above all the Grateful Dead were a band of musicians, and their musicianship of the finest quality is never more evidently on display than on American Beauty.

  • Live Recordings

The Grateful Dead has a seemingly endless stream of live recordings available. To the non-believer, it all seems like grand excess. Why would you need an infinite amount of the same songs ad nauseum? But this misses the point. Every single performance of each Grateful Dead song is a unique event; a moment captured in time unlike any other. To make sense of the Grateful Dead is to grasp their inimitable improvisational abilities.

The Grateful Dead never repeated themselves. Every song was an experiment that couldn’t be replicated. Experiencing a live Grateful Dead song is as ephemeral as the dust from a shooting star, evaporating almost as soon as you are conscious of it. And yet, the live recordings we have of the band are the living souls of the songs that keep their spirit alive in the present. They are living documents, with the ability to transform our consciousness and move us to states of ecstasy unlike any other.

  • The Bootleg Recording Scene

The universe of live Grateful Dead recordings is only in small part captured by the wide array of officially released recordings available. For the Grateful Dead introduced bootleg culture into live music, and we’re not talking about bathtub gin (unless you mean the Phish song). Since the early days of the Grateful Dead, audiences were encouraged to create their own audio recordings of shows. A special “taper” section of the show was even set up by the band to accommodate those wanting to capture the highest quality audio possible.

Today, many bands allow and even encourage fans to make bootleg recordings of their shows, in the spirit of the band that started this tradition, the Grateful Dead. And unlike the old days, when trading tapes required literally mailing the music to other traders, the internet now allows for the instantaneous spread of the music. You can download all of your favorite performances with lightning speed and house them all on your hard drive. But none of this would have been possible without the Grateful Dead showing the way.

  • The Contemporary Jam Band Scene

In the contemporary musical landscape, live music is thriving. This is in no small part due to the presence of the jam band circuit, composed of bands that continue to profess the spirit of the Grateful Dead. The primary characteristic of jam bands is just what their name implies: they jam, leading their audience on lengthy improvisational, often instrumental musical voyages that seem to transcend the very bounds of space-time and consciousness. Today, it seems like there are more jam bands than ever, ranging from those that can headline sports arenas – like Phish – to the band playing your local watering hole.

Jam bands inspire such a passionate, devoted fan base largely due to their improvisational abilities. Like great jazz music, a great jam band never plays a show the same way twice. You can capture that on a studio album sometimes, but it works best in a live setting because you get to experience the magical mystical music as it’s actually unfolding before you. It’s the reason that obsessed fans traveled around the country to see the Grateful Dead perform day in and day out. Today, bands like Phish, the String Cheese Incident, and Umphrey’s McGee and many others carry the torch of the Grateful Dead by keeping the jam band spirit alive.

  • Members of the Grateful Dead are still Playing

Unless you are living under a musical rock – and I’m pretty sure you’re not – you know that the surviving members of the Grateful Dead have been very active in music. In 2015, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart reunited, with Phish’s Trey Anastasio filling the role of lead guitarist and vocalist, for five shows that were called “Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead”. The shows received rave reviews and were billed as the closing chapter in the book of the Grateful Dead.

But it wasn’t. Not really. For more shows under the moniker Dead & Company appeared in 2015 – this time featuring Hart, Kreutzmann, and Weir, joined by blues rock guitarist John Mayer. Though Phil Lesh did not participate in this iteration of the Grateful Dead, it was still a fine way to continue to celebrate the spirit of the Grateful Dead’s music.

Will the 2016 Dead & Company shows be the end of the long, strange trip? Doubtful. As Bob Weir has said to The Guardian, “I’m nowhere near done with that heritage and legacy. And this is a new way of approaching it.”

After all, a new way of approaching the music is what the Grateful Dead is what this band has always been about.

– Brian M. Reiser,

Tribut Apparel / Joe Bonamassa Best Blues Artists Official Blog

Source: Blues Rock

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

King Of Blues Live at the Greek Theatre

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The 100 Greatest Blues Singers EVER

#29 – Joe Bonamassa

It’s not all about the guitars you know

Yeah, he can play a bit – but Best Blues Singer from Guitarist Magazine 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 Best Guitarists guitar nerd became a singer 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.’ 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 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.

Blues Update

The 100 Greatest Blues Singers EVER

#29 – Joe Bonamassa

It’s not all about the guitars you know

Yeah, he can play a bit – but Best Blues Singer from Guitarist Magazine 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 Best Guitarists guitar nerd became a singer 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.’ 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 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

Blues Update

 

Other musicians joining Bonamassa on the Four-Day Music-Filled Voyage include Beth Hart, Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, Joanne Shaw Taylor, Anders Osborne, Eric Gales, and more

ATLANTA, GA – Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation, Joe Bonamassa, and Sixthman are proud to present Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea III, year three of the incredible four-day floating music festival featuring Bonamassa and some of the most celebrated names in blues. This year’s festival will journey across the Caribbean aboard Norwegian Jade onFebruary 6-10, 2017, sailing from Tampa, Florida to Costa Maya, Mexico. Guests will enjoy performances from some of the biggest names in music, while discovering new favorites among emerging blues artists on multiple stages throughout the ship. From rare artist collaborations to intimate gatherings with musically inclined cruisers, the festival will have something for everyone to enjoy.

Previous Updates:

Blues Concerts Joe’s latest tour comes hot on the heels of the release of his latest #1 Billboard Blues Album, Blues of Desperation, a tour-de-force blues-rock experience filled with power and vigor, produced by Joe’s longtime collaborator Kevin Shirley. The set list from the first show of the tour was chock-full of the amazing material from that album. This includes an opener consisting of the gutsy, gritty blues call to arms of “This Train”, the rock and steel-shattering potency of “Mountain Climbing”, the bleary, tequila-soaked “Drive,” dripping with the kind of raw, wicked and unsettling sensuality that could make David Lynch green with envy, and the album’s title track “Blues of Desperation”, which captivates with its world-music flair and its battering-ram like riffs. The set list was rounded out with some choice covers like Nobody Loves Me But My Mother and Hummingbird and Joe Bonamassa classics such as Oh Beautiful! And Sloe Gin.

Best Guitarist in the World Joe came to the show prepared with an army of his incredible guitars. The show featured some of our favorite of Joe’s instruments, including his 1958 Mary Kaye Stratocaster, Amos the famous 1958 Gibson Flying V, his 1959 Gibson Les Paul “Carmelita”, and another Gibson Les Paul, this one from 1960, “The Runt”.

Blues Concerts Ah yes, Spring is in the air, and that means Joe Bonamassa tour time once again. Joe is thrilled to be back on the road with this band, these songs, and those guitars, and we hope you’re just as excited to see it. It’s going to be quite a set of shows. See you on the road!

 

 

Bonamassa is back with his best Blues Songs studio album since The Ballad of John Henry.

Joe Bonamassa continues to push the boundaries of blues rock. With each new record, he challenges himself to deliver something new, something fresh, and keep things interesting whilst, at the same time, staying true to the roots of blues music.

For this album, Joe has assembled a formidable lineup of talent including amongst others dueling drummers Anton Fig and Greg Morrow, bassist Michael Rhodes, and the legendary keyboardist Reese Wynans of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble fame. In the command room, Joe’s long-time producer Kevin Shirley returns to the helm.

Blues of Desperation is packed full of masterful and technical guitar wizardry as you would expect from Joe. However, the album exhibits diversity which you won’t find on his other records. Bonamassa traverses both the familiar blues rock ground such as opening track “This Train,” which comes hurtling at you like a locomotive. He also takes a step outside of his comfort zone with the sweet, soulful acoustic number “Valley Runs Low” and makes it pays off.

The album’s production value is incredible; producer Kevin Shirley has worked his magic on this record. Subsequently, the addition of a second drummer, Greg Morrow, gives tracks like the infectious “Mountain Climbing,” one of the standout tracks on the album, additional texture and depth. The inclusion of orchestral elements like the slow blues number, “No Good Place For The Lonely,” is also incredibly effective.

Several tracks on the album have an immersive feel transporting the listener to another place or time. With “Livin’ Easy,” oozing with soulful sax and honky-tonk piano, it’s a downtown Chicago speakeasy bar. By comparison, Joe’s latest single “Drive” takes you on a late night road trip to New Mexico. The song feels as though it would be an equally suitable fit on a Hollywood movie soundtrack as it exhibits some of those atmospheric characteristics.

The epic, slide guitar monster of a title track has an almost Led Zeppelin-esque quality to it. The album closes with the superb slow blues number, “What I’ve Known For A Very Long Time.”

There is most certainly nothing desperate about Bonamassa’s latest offering; there isn’t a bad track on the album. Blues of Desperation is a future classic in the making.

The album is scheduled for release via J&R Adventures/Provogue (Europe) on March 25th and is available for pre-order on Amazon and iTunes on jbonamassa.com.

-Adam Kennedy, 08 Mar, 2016

Source: Blues Songs

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Blues Update

Press Release

Guitar Rock Star Redefines Blues Rock with New Studio Album

Joe Bonamassa evolves as blues-rock musician with highly-anticipated new album Blues of Desperation, out March 25
Blues guitarist is Facebook phenomenon

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — GRAMMY-nominated blues-rock guitar icon Joe Bonamassa announces his brand-new studio solo album,Blues of Desperation (J&R Adventures), which will be released March 25, 2016. Like his previous solo disc, 2014’s Top 10 Billboard hit Different Shades of Blue, this record features all-original material, and it sees the maverick superstar guitarist, singer and songwriter tossing away the rule book as he continues to reinvent and redefine the blues-rock genre like no other artist working today.

Watch a sneak-peak EPK of Joe recording in the studio here:https://youtu.be/xXMnxkYt7BU

Pre-order now athttp://joeb.me/bod-album, Amazon, and iTunes.

“I want people to hear my evolution as a blues-rock musician,” says Bonamassa, “somebody who isn’t resting on accomplishments and who is always pushing forward and thinking about how music can evolve and stay relevant.”

The writing sessions for Blues of Desperation took Bonamassa back to Nashville, where he’d composed Different Shades of Blue, to work with some of Music City’s top tunesmiths, people like James House, Tom Hambridge, Jeffrey Steele, Jerry Flowers and Gary Nicholson.

“These are some of the best guys in the business,” Bonamassa raves. “Lyrically, you’ll hear the proverbial trains, mountains, valleys and other blues references about heartbreak and loneliness but there are also some poignant moments about getting away from the stressful, crazy demands of life and losing yourself with your special someone. I think anybody will be able to relate.”

Best Guitarists Bonamassa and his longtime producer Kevin Shirley (Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Journey) convened at Nashville’s Grand Victor Sound Studios (formerly known as RCA Studio A), and during an intense, five-day period they recorded 11 galvanizing songs with a crack group of musicians including drummers Anton Fig and Greg Morrow, bassist Michael Rhodes, keyboardist Reese Wynans, horn players Lee Thornburg, Paulie Cerra and Mark Douthit, and background singers Mahalia Barnes, Jade McRae and Juanita Tippins.

Of his decade-long collaboration with Shirley, Bonamassa says, “I can explain our relationship with one word – ‘trust.’ I completely trust in Kevin and his musical promptings. He pushes my musical ability by challenging me to not just rest on my laurels or settle for ‘good.’ He expects more out of the other musicians as well and will not hold back when he sees us falling back into our usual routine.”

“Which sometimes calls for unorthodox measures,” says Shirley, who admits that his idea of augmenting Bonamassa’s usual recording band with second drummer Morrow was engineered to “ruffle Joe’s feathers.”

“I wanted him to work a little harder, like in his early years,” he says, “so I brought in an additional drummer, just to throw the cat amongst the pigeons.” Of the results, Shirley raves, “Recording ‘Blues of Desperation‘ is one of the most exciting recording projects I’ve done. What a joyful noise we made!”

Blues of Desperation is King Of Blues Bonamassa’s most powerfully diverse and boldly realized album yet, with the material ranging from the gutsy, gritty blues call to arms of “This Train” (Joe’s guitar is set to “rude” throughout) to the elegant yet emotionally shattering ballad “What I’ve Known for a Very Long Time” to the soul-nourishing, acoustic-based Americana of “The Valley Runs Low,” on which Bonamassa’s voice rises up majestically to meet Barnes, McRae and Tippins in gospel-like rapture. And then there’s the bleary, tequila-soaked “Drive,” dripping with the kind of raw, wicked and unsettling sensuality that could make David Lynch green with envy.

Throughout the record, Bonamassa’s epic guitar playing conjures up stirring benedictions and explosive exorcisms of sound. “No Good Place For the Lonely” features some of the guitarist’s most cauterizing licks yet, and the walloping title track is a white-knuckled, six-string thrill ride guaranteed to jolt the senses. Guitar fans everywhere (like those who recently voted Bonamassa “Best Blues Guitarist” in Guitar World magazine by an overwhelming margin) will consider Blues of Desperation a treasure trove of axe riches.

“There are some long solos on this record and even some mini-jams in the middle of a track where the band would just jive and crank it out,” he says. “[During those jams], we do a tip of the hat to Beck and Clapton from the ’70s. I think guitar nerds and music fans like myself will love it.”

Packed with unparalleled musicianship and teeming with the most enthralling collection of songs in Bonamassa’s career,Blues of Desperation is guaranteed to knock out critics and fans alike. By exceeding his own vertiginously high artistic goals, Bonamassa is bound to shatter all other expectations with this record and reach new audiences – no mean feat when you continue his astonishing track record of hits now includes 15 #1 Billboard Blues Albums (more than any other artist in history). 2014’s Different Shades of Blue debuted at #8 on Billboard’s Top 200 Chart, making it his highest charting album, his first top 10 and accounting for his biggest sales week ever. In 2014, the guitarist received his first-ever Grammy nomination (for Best Blues Album) for the album Seesaw, his second collaboration with blues singing star Beth Hart, and was named 2014’s Billboard Blues Artist of the Year.

Bonamassa’s stature in the music industry has built steadily over the years. Along with his longtime manager, Roy Weisman, the iconoclastic guitarist built his own successful record label, management and concert promotion company called J&R Adventures. In addition, his connection to fans on social media has grown to over 2.4 million Facebook friends, over 131K Twitter followers and 130K Instragram followers.

Prior to the release of Blues of Desperation, Bonamassa – a touring monster who averages about 100 shows a year – will be kicking off the year with a January DVD recording of his intimate acoustic show at New York’s Carnegie Hall before embarking on his second annual Keeping The Blues Alive at Sea blues cruise in February and a full-on electric band trek through the U.S. in April.

King Of Blues

Blues Update

Producer’s Note

Recording “Blues of Desperation” is one of the
most exciting recording projects I’ve done.

With Blues Music Joe came to Nashville two weeks before we started the recording and set about writing an all original album. Then we gathered the musicians in the historic RCA studio A (lovingly saved from the wrecking ball by Aubrey Preston and Sharon Corbitt-House and now called Grand Victor Sound Studios), a big old fashion room where anyone who’s anyone has recorded! Chet Atkins, Elvis Presley, John Hiatt and so many more.
I always wanted to track this record with a high energy three-piece band, so Joe would have to work a little harder, like in his early years, before keyboards and horn’s etc. filled in all the blanks. To be honest, I was trying to find a way to ruffle Joe’s feathers, so I then brought in an additional drummer, just to throw the cat and amongst the pigeons! We set up Anton Fig and Greg Morrow each behind his own drum kit facing each other, and then next to them had Michael Rhodes with his bass guitar cranked, staring across the gap at Best Blues Artists Joe with his guitars. So they were set up in an X formation, and could all see each other as they played. And boy, what a joyful noise we made!
Not that it’s all excessively heavy or hard, there are some very fragile, delicate moments on this record, where the two drummers complement each other wonderfully and add a great rhythm to the sensitivity of the songs.
After we had cut the songs, Reese Wynans added his wonderful keyboard parts, and then Mahalia Barnes and the Aussie girls did the backing vocals, and Lee Thornburg’s wonderful horn arrangements put the icing on the top. And that folks, is how we made this awesome record which you are now hopefully holding in your hands.
Enjoy!
“They always try to write off the blues. Well, we’ve proven tonight that at least 9,000 people like the blues.”
So says Best Guitarist in the World Joe Bonamassa on Joe Bonamassa: Muddy Wolf at Red Rocks, a new live CD, DVD and Blu-ray that will be released March 24.
The shows were recorded last Labor Day weekend, when Bonamassa and his band performed a tribute to blues legends Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado.
Below, you can check out two preview clips from the DVD. Up top we have Bonamassa’s version of Muddy Waters’ “I Can’t Be Satisfied,” followed by Howlin’ Wolf’s “Shake for Me.”
Every variation of Joe Bonamassa: Muddy Wolf at Red Rocks is available for pre-order now at shop.jbonamassa.com.

Cream Rises to the Top

Cream Rises to the Top

The recent passing of bassist Jack Bruce was a real loss for those of us who love blues and rock. Bruce was best known for his work in the power trio Cream. The band was only together for a short time, but in that brief span was able to chart a new course for combining blues, rock and psychedelia into a potent and loud mix. Today on the Pickup, Joe picks his favorite five Cream tracks, recalls playing a gig with Jack Bruce and explains how the band continues to influence his career as a musician.

Listen to the Radio

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Los Angeles, CA, August 2, 2013: Today, one of the world’s most popular guitarists and blues-rock stars Joe Bonamassa and co-host Matt Abramovitz (formerly of Sirius Satellite Radio’s blues channel) debut their brand new weekly radio show The Pickup, an entirely unique and highly entertaining show blending music history, carefully curated songs, an encyclopedic knowledge of guitar facts, and illuminating insights into the world of a musician. Whether it’s unusual knowledge of a vintage Les Paul played on an obscure record from the 70s, or a friendly debate on how to name your guitar, each episode weaves together witty banter, fun facts, and amazing stories from the road and the life of a working musician. The show will be streamed every Friday at http://www.thepickupradio.com and episodes will be available to stream anytime. Listen to the debut episode now.

Source: Best Guitarst In The World