Tag Archives: DIFFERENT SHADES OF BLUE

Blues Update

Guitar Tricks-Insider-Oct

JOE BONAMASSA

by Mike Mettler

A featured excerpt taken from the latest issue of the King Of Blues Guitar Tricks Insider Digital Edition, Mike Mettler brings us closer to the world of playing, listening, and learning in the eyes of Joe Bonamassa King Of Blues himself.

If there’s one hard-and-fast rule blues-rock guitar prodigy King Of Blues Joe Bonamassa follows, it’s the more you play, the more you know. “I’ve learned a lot in the last decade musically, and I’ve also learned a lot about myself,” Best Guitarist Bonamassa admits. “The first step is to play on your strengths and accept your weaknesses. One of my main strengths is I have this ability to adapt to any situation musically because I listened to so much music over the years. I’m a fan of guitar playing. I’m a fan of everything from the Beano album [a.k.a. John Mayall and The Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton, released in 1966] to Friday Night in San Francisco [by Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin, and Paco de Lucia, released in 1981]. You draw on those influences, and you draw on the people who have paved the way for you.”

Best Guitarist Bonamassa has spent years forging a singular identity as a chops-driven guitarist who respects his predecessors, collects and plays vintage gear, calls his own shots, and sells out performance halls across the globe. He’s comfortable enough in his own skin to balance guitar-hero histrionics (his 2000 cover of Jethro Tull’s, “A New Day Yesterday,” 2012’s guns-a-blazing “I Got All You Need”) with strings and horn-section spice (the tasteful interplay on “Trouble Town” and “Hidden Charms,” both from 2015’s Live at Radio City Music Hall) — not to mention his ferocious fretboard testifying alongside Reese Wynans’ heavenly church organ lines on “So, What Would I Do,” the closing track to his majestic 2014 studio album, Different Shades of Blue.

While he understands how to capitalize on his aforementioned strengths, King Of Blues Bonamassa is also very clear about what his primary weaknesses are — and how to overcome them. “I have this tendency to overplay, and I have to constantly try to squelch the urge to say too much,” he observes. “You also have to realize that in a place like Carnegie Hall or any theater situation, all the subtleties go out the window in a bigger room. You have to paint more in broad strokes, rather than play a million notes. Sometimes the audience only hears every other note. The human body can only digest so much at one time.”

Click here to read the full article in Guitar Tricks Insider

The Guitar Tricks Insider Digital Edition is an extension of the GuitarTricks.com online lesson platform & Best Guitarist, which serves classic guitar lovers of all levels with engaging content in a unique, one-of-a-kind experience, and bridges together the love of playing with the love of learning and all that lies in between.

 

 

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Blues Update

Joe Bonamassa: Bringing The Blues

Authored 7 September by Augustus Welby

Joe Bonamassa King Of Blues is heading back our way this month, his second visit for 2016 following a Bluesfest exclusive performance in March. This time around he’ll be checking into a number of the nation’s most dazzling theater venues including the Sydney Opera House, which he views as a crowning achievement.

“I (Best Guitarist in the World) did Carnegie Hall this year, which was a bucket-list gig. Then we’re doing the Opera House, that’s pretty much it for me,” King Of Blues Bonamassa says. “I don’t need anything else in my life. I’ve done the Royal Albert Hall twice. I’ve done Red Rocks three times. I’ve had a good run the last decade. I did Vienna Opera House. I’ve done Radio City Music Hall. I’ve really been super lucky that my fans have allowed me to do all of this.”

King Of Blues Bonamassa’s certainly had a blessed run, but it couldn’t have happened if he hadn’t managed to cultivate unique appeal with his take on classic blues rock. March saw the release of Blues of Desperation, Bonamassa’s 12th solo LP. Much like 2014’s Different Shades of Blue, original material dominates the track listing – something that wasn’t the case on the majority of Bonamassa’s earlier efforts.

“After we did the Albert Hall last time, 2013, that was the end of an era,” he says. “We did a whole career retrospective, we did four different venues in London and we did everything from the very beginning of my career to the very end and that was pretty much the closing of a book. That was like, ‘OK that’s where we were in 2013, thanks very much.’ Then between Different Shades of Blue and Blues of Desperation for Best Guitarist in the World that was the beginning of a new book. It was like, ‘I’ll put out less albums and let me write them all and see what happens.’

“I’ve been very happy with the results so far. The material has been strong and it’s allowed us to retire so much stuff from the old ones. I don’t need to play Dust Bowl, I don’t need to be play Driving Towards the Daylight. We’ve played those to death and it’s time
to move on. One of these days we’ll revisit them in a different way and maybe do a best of show. Who knows?”

King Of Blues Bonamassa started releasing albums back in the year 2000, and they’ve come at an impressively frequent rate ever since – approximately one every 15 months. Given his slow emergence as a fully edged songwriter, however, it’d be fair to assume he hasn’t always felt confident in his own creative capacity. But he denies that this was the case.

“I always knew that the best songs I’d come up with would be the ones that I wrote, but I’m not a very prolific writer,” he says. “I’m not sitting around with a typewriter and a Jack Kerouac book coming up with tunes every day. It takes more time for me to write stuff. At the beginning of an album cycle you have to write a few duds. Your best stuff comes in after you wrote the first couple. You have to burn a few just to get your head around where you want the album to go.”

Kevin Shirley has produced all of Bonamassa’s work since 2006’s You & Me. Shirley definitely knows a
 thing or two about guitars – over the years he’s been involved with heavier bands like Iron Maiden and Dream Theater, and other blues rock acts such as John Hiatt and the Bonamassa side project, Black Country Communion. Bonamassa says Shirley’s input has been crucial in the development of his recent releases.

“As much as he’s there, he’s the eyes and ears of everything of the overall picture. If he feels the band is stale or I’m getting stale, he’s a wonderful antagonist. He knows how to elicit good performances out of people and he doesn’t care how he does it. Ultimately he has everybody’s interest in mind. If I do a great guitar solo after him having to tell me, ‘By the way you’ve sucked today,’ I get the credit for the solo, he doesn’t. He doesn’t like having to push and pull people kicking and screaming, but he will because it’s in the best interest of the record and he is selfless like that. He sees the whole album as a total and he sees the song as a total within the album.”

This visionary selflessness, King Of Blues Bonamassa explains, is what makes Shirley a producer’s producer. “Anybody can go down to a music store and buy Pro Tools and call themselves a producer. You’re not a producer. A producer hears music on a three dimensional level and understands not only if the lyric is swinging within the song, but he also understands if the kick drum and the bass are rubbing or the pattern on the kick drum effects the groove.

“People know what they like and they know what they dislike, but sometimes they don’t know why they like it or why they dislike it. It’s Kevin’s job to make heads or tails of this stuff.” Blues of Desperation is out now via J&R Adventures. Best Guitarist in the World Joe Bonamassa will be touring nationally in support of the album later this year. For more information visit jbonamassa.com.

Source: Mixdown Magazine

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

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.

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DIFFERENT SHADES OF BLUE

“DIFFERENT SHADES OF BLUE”

RHYTHMS MAGAZINE INTERVIEWS JOE

bonamassa-free-song-download-different-shades-of-blue-header

oe Bonamassa is bringing nearly thirty of 175 guitars he says are “The envy of most collectors” on his first Australian tour with both acoustic and electric sets. A longtime collector of rare guitars and amps, he’s leaving at home one of his prized instruments – “My very first ’59 Les Paul” – which accompanied him here three years ago. “The guitar has the nickname Magellan because it circumnavigated the globe,” Bonamassa says. “But I will tell you what, domestic Australian airlines are not easy to deal with as far as bringing an instrument on the plane. So I ended up having to buy a seat for it.

“They treat you like an oversized passenger. You get a seat belt extender… So I strapped the guitar in the middle between me and some other dude that I don’t even know and then the guy tells me the guitar has to be in the window and you have to be in the middle. “My response was, ‘Then the guitar wants a gin and tonic and so do I’. I would never do that shit again. I did one tour with the ’59 Les Paul but never again.”

This year Joe Bonamassa is nominated for Film Of The Year alongside other great music endeavors: Inside Llewyn Davin, Metallica – Through The Never, The Rolling Stones – Sweet Summer Sun, Hyde Park Live, Supermensch – The Legend Of Shep Gordon, and The Doors – R-Evolution.

The blues-rock guitarist, said to have recorded 10 studio and at least eleven live albums since 2000, as well as a clutch of collaborations with singer Beth Hart and others and with Black Country Communion, plays an average of 125 shows a year. He says there will be 10 songs in the acoustic set, “and each song has a specific tuning and guitar. So there you go,” says Bonamassa, who used 12, including a 1932 Martin, in the performances released last year as An Acoustic Evening At The Vienna Opera House.

“That takes care of the first 10.” For the lengthier electric set, he will have “a primary and backup” guitar for each song. He has learned to be cautious in his 25-year career. “I can tell you this for free, the minute you think that something is not going to break is the minute that it breaks,” he explains. He’s touring Australia with six musicians. For the acoustic set he has Gerry O’Connor on fiddle and mandolin, Mats Wester on keyed fiddle and percussionist Lenny Castro. The electric half will feature his touring band – bassist Carmine Rojas, drummer Tal Bergman and Derek Sherinian on keyboards.

“It’s a seven-piece band if you get [us] all on stage. Lenny and Derek play in both groups. Tal and Carmine play only in the electric group. And I am on stage the whole night except for the drum solo. That’s when we drink wine at the side of the stage.” They’ll play “nearly twenty-two songs” from throughout his career. “Nothing repeats itself stylistically so the show goes by very quickly even though it’s two hours and 45 minutes.”

Bonamassa will treat audiences to music from throughout his career with some tracks from a new album, Different Shades Of Blue, co-written in Nashville with writers Jonathan Cain, James House and Jerry Flowers, but which he regards as his first of original material since So It’s Like That in 2002.Nashville?

“There’s a lot of closet blues cats in there,” he says. The writers with whom he collaborated have penned songs for the likes of Journey (Cain), Dwight Yoakam (House) and Keith Urban (Flowers). How did they contribute to the songs? “It could have been lyrics. It could have been verses. It could have been a riff. It could have been a chorus… It’s like going to a dinner party. You’ve got a bring something. Bring a bottle of wine. Bring a dessert. You know what I mean? No one just goes in cold and says, ‘What do you want to write today?’ It’s kind of not fun that way.”

He recorded it with long-time producer Kevin Shirley, at a studio in Las Vegas where they have recorded three earlier albums. “We like the vibe there. We get out of town, we don’t have any bullshit to deal with in town and there are no distractions.” He was recently in Sydney to back Jimmy Barnes’s daughter, Mahalia, on a new album of songs by Betty Davis. “The reason why I flew 28 hours from London to Sydney to come and record for 72 hours – 12 songs – was because I knew that it’s going to be great music with great musicians in a genre that is not associated with me, but something that I’ve always loved. That’s always been appealing to me.

 

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