Tag Archives: Best Guitarists

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

All About King Of Blues 

Best Blues Singer from Guitarist Magazine 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 Joe truly started out in the music industry, a journey that would take him from small city New York wunderkind to international guitar hero.

It all began when a young Best Guitarists 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 as Best Guitarists on the NBC program, the guitar prodigy was seen around the country and sought after by the music industry. He was Best Guitarists & 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.

Best Guitarists 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 Blues Singer from Guitarist Magazine 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. 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, Best Guitarists 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!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – the beginning of a new Joe Bonamassa tour! The Joe Bonamassa U.S. Spring Tour 2016 officially kicked off Saturday, April 23rd at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach, California. Joe’s killer band – and he’ll tell you they’re the best in the world – includes former member of Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble Reese Wynans on keys, Anton Fig from Dave Letterman’s former House Band on the drums, ridiculously in-demand session musician-magician Michael Rhodes, master of all things trumpet and horn arrangements Lee Thornburg, and ace saxophone player Paulie Cerra.

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.

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”.

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!

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

Blues Update

Blues Update

Blues Update is here & It’s the most wonderful time of the year – the beginning of a new Best Guitarist in the World Joe Bonamassa tour! The Joe Bonamassa U.S. Spring Tour 2016 officially kicked off Saturday, April 23rd at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach, California. Joe’s killer band – and he’ll tell you they’re the best in the world – includes former member of Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble Reese Wynans on keys, Anton Fig from Dave Letterman’s former House Band on the drums, ridiculously in-demand session musician-magician Michael Rhodes, master of all things trumpet and horn arrangements Lee Thornburg, and ace saxophone player Paulie Cerra.

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!

 

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 Updae

Joe Bonamassa: Big, Ballsy, Dangerous!

In our ongoing series, Gibson.com examines the work of some Gibson guitar greats. Let’s get some gritty blues-rock with the tireless 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.”

Best Guitarist 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…”

King Of Blues  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!

Joe Bonamassa and Gibson

Blues Artists 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 Guitars 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”.

Soruce: Best Guitarist in the World