Tag Archives: Guitar Player magazine

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

Advertisements

Joe Bonamassa picks his own Top Guitarists of All Time

Top Guitarists of All Time

Download Joe Bonamassa Free Song Now!

I really enjoy talking to great guitarists about other great guitarists. I mean, they’re the experts, right? But usually I find that the world’s top players are quite reluctant to rank one another. They’re normally of the mind that there is no “best” player, and that it’s all in the ear of the beholder. Then again, I’ve chatted with quite a few who steadfastly believe that Jimi Hendrix is number one, and that no one can touch him.

Once in a while a scorecard of the socalled “greatestguitarists will come out, and then the chatter will pick up again. Such was the case a few weeks back when Rolling Stone published its 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list. I for one took exception to it, as you can see here. And when I called acclaimed picker Joe Bonamassa in Bakersfield, California, the other day in advance of his upcomingVancouver gig, the subject came up again.

As expected, Bonamassa didn’t complain that he wasn’t on the list–even though readers of the prestigious Guitar Player magazine voted him Best Overall Guitarist last year–but it was clear that he wasn’t thrilled with how some of his own six-string heroes were ranked. For one thing, his childhood mentor Danny Gatton was nowhere to be seen.

And what about his own top picks? Although–unlike those diehard Hendrix fanatics–Bonamassa claimed that he “couldn’t pick a number one”, after some urging from me he started to name names.

“I could tell you who’d been my number one influence overall on guitar,” he offered. “As an artist, singer-songwriter, overall, probably Eric Clapton, single-most. Second would be Paul Kossoff. Third would be Jeff Beck. Fourth would be probably Jimmy Page. Fifth would be Peter Green. And then Mick Taylor, and then Rory Gallagher, and then Danny Gatton. So those are my cats right there.”

Yes! Rory Gallagher finally makes a Top 10! Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!

Source:  King Of Blues

Connect with us:    YouTube  twitter  Instagram  Pinterest  Pinterest

Blues Update

Joe Bonamassa’sGuitar Safaris & Gibson Guitars Player

The guitar titan gets personal about his hunt for vintage gear in his new monthly column in Guitar Player magazine.
Pawn Star

Welcome back my friends to where the geekdom never ends. This month our guitar safari brings us to Ft. Wayne, Indiana, early in the winter of 2011. My drummer, Tal Bergman, had just received a brand new Sonar drum kit that required a few hours of tuning for optimum use. As I sat like a sonic refugee in the basement dressing room at the Embassy Theatre, hearing nothing but paradiddles and kick drum for an hour, I finally said to myself, “Self, I’m getting the hell out of here.” My tech, Mike Hickey, and I took to the streets in search of a place called B and B Pawn and Loan. I had purchased a lap-steel from them in my early 20s and remembered they were close to the theater.

Best Guitarists Joe Bonamassa Guitar Safaris.

As we navigated through used stereos, Makita power tools, and PlayStation 2s, we noticed there were also a fair amount of guitars, including what I thought initially was a Pete Townsend Polaris White Gibson SG Special reissue. I glance at it briefly and continued walking around the shop. About five minutes later I glanced over again and noticed that the bridge was at the pre-’63 angle- something not offered on the reissues – and that guitar came with the original soft-shell alligator case. “Wow! Nice guitar,” I said. First year SG Specials in Polaris White, sans tremolo, don’t exactly come up for sale very often and, if they do, they are expensive. This was a very rare guitar, and especially cool for a Who fan/nerd like me.

A very nice gentlemen in his 70s came over and mentioned that the guitar had been there for about seven years with no takers and then he added that I should buy it. I looked at the price tag and, at $7,500, I could see why it hadn’t sold. I hit him with a few questions, checked the control cavity for any modifications, and asked what he would seriously take for it on this rainy and cold afternoon. Well, you could probably guess how the story ends. I won’t disclose the final price but I will say that there was a significant discount (plus four tickets to the night’s show). Everybody won on the deal which is how I like it.

Mike grabbed a cool Charvel ‘hockey stick’ guitar he found there and the two of us headed back to the venue feeling triumphant. A set of Ernie Ball .011 -.052s immediately went on the SG and it was ready for battle. It required no set up or adjustment of any kind. Just strings.

Source:  King Of Blues