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Blues Update

 keeping the blues alive

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


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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

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

Best Guitarist in the World

Best Guitarist in the World Diaries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out Joe’s entire catalog now!

Soruce: Best Guitarist in the World

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Blues Update

Joe Bonamassa Covers Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf on New DVD

“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.

Enjoy!

“I Can’t Be Satisfied”

“Shake for Me”

 

 

 

 

DIFFERENT SHADE OF BLUES

DIFFERENT SHADE OF BLUES:

THE SONGWRITING EVOLUTION OF JOE BONAMASSA

Stereoboard

“He may cast a spell with his guitar pyrotechnics and blistering cover versions, but Joe Bonamassa’s growing skill as a composer shouldn’t be overlooked.”

Stereoboard

 

DIFFERENT SHADE OF BLUES: THE SONGWRITING EVOLUTION OF JOE BONAMASSA

He may cast a spell with his guitar pyrotechnics and blistering cover versions, but Joe Bonamassa’s growing skill as a composer shouldn’t be overlooked. With the American hotshot currently playing four nights at London’s Hammersmith Apollo, we’ve trace the key stages of the man’s songwriting development, from his early days as a solo artist, to the crafting of his first album of almost-all original material in over a decade, last year’s ‘Different Shades Of Blue’.

IN THE BEGINNING…

Bonamassa  the Best Blues Artists was in his early 20s when his songwriting took an introductory bow on his debut album, ‘A New Day Yesterday’, in 2000. At that point, his compositions were still in the embryonic stage and while they were powerful and well executed, they were lacking in character and indebted to his idols, most notably Erics Clapton and Johnson. However, a trio of cuts revealed a whiff things to come, with Miss You, Hate You demonstrating a penchant for melody not typically found in the blues, I Know Where I Belong showcasing his ability to blend shuffling funk withballsy rock and Colour And The Shape hinting at the dusky cowboy blues that would become a trademark in later years.

LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS…

‘So It’s Like That’, Bonamassa’s 2002 sophomore effort, was essentially songwriting school. Each track was co-penned with well-travelled outside writers like Mark Lizotte, Mike Himelstein and Eric Pressly. Its radio-friendly hard rock, pop and country anthems are completely unrepresentative of the artist he became, but the record may actually be the most important of his career. My Mistake, Lie #1 and Waiting For Me show how writing with seasoned collaborators taught him to craft classically structured songs around a meaningful narrative, while it is bursting with a mature and infectious hooks.

ENTER KEVIN SHIRLEY…

Bonamassa who is also known as King Of Blues dove back into the blues on his next two offerings, but although ‘The River’ and ‘When She Dances’ are strong genre pieces, he didn’t develop a sound of his own or stand out from a pack of equally talented players like Walter Trout and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. When producer Kevin Shirley first saw Bonamassa he recognised that. “I went to go see Joe play at a club in Chicago, and I thought he was a good musician but a little limited stylistically. So after the show, I had a chat with him,” Shirley told Music Radar. “I told him: ‘Joe, you’re a wonderful player, but unless you’re willing to trust me and go outside the box, there isn’t much I can do for you

Bonamassa’s early exposure to a range of diverse artists and styles – Cream, Jeff Beck, Jackson Browne, Jethro Tull, BB King – courtesy of his parents’ record collection, some classical guitar lessons lessons and tuition with rockabilly and jazz great Danny Gatton gave him an expansive musical arsenal that would allow him to twist the blues into a variety of exciting new shapes. And with Shirley coaxing all those latent nuances to the surface and giving him a much bigger sound, the pieces of the jigsaw started coming together.

THE WATERSHED MOMENT…

The duo’s first album together, 2006’s ‘You & Me’, didn’t reinvent the blues so much as give it an electric shock, with Bridge To Better Days and Torn Down bursting with cocksure dynamism and confidence. Asking Around For You, a swooning ballad enhanced by gorgeous strings, became Bonamassa’s first classic original. During a show in 2007, Bonamassa realised that was just the start. “We went on after Steely Dan at the North Sea Jazz Festival outside of Amsterdam,” he told Grammy. “Thirty seconds after we started, I realised: ‘Geez, Kid Charlemagne is still ringing in the room, and we’re on. I don’t have any songs.’ That was the beginning of an eight or nine year quest to amass material that really connects to people.”

A NEW DIRECTION…

Bonamassa and Shirley really started pushing the envelope with ‘Sloe Gin’, a record that whipped up a mixture of acoustic and electric blues with panache. Dirt In My Pocket seamlessly switched between folky picking and brutal distortion, melding different tones in a way that would colour future compositions like Black Lung Heartache and the psychedelic midsection of Oh Beautiful!.

Meanwhile, a growing soulfulness emerged on acoustic cuts Richmond and Around The Bend. The latter initially appeared on ‘Had To Cry Today’ with a full rhythm section that made it feel impetuous and rushed, but appeared here reworked as a slowed-down, reflective country song with the kind of world-worn sentiments that would be revisited on ‘Driving Towards The Daylight’ and ‘Different Shades Of Blue’.

THE SONGWRITER FINDS HIS VOICE…

In his early years, Bonamassa crafted the music for his songs, while mostly deferring to co-writers for lyrics. That changed in 2009 when he unleashed the game changing ‘The Ballad Of John Henry’. Featuring six songs written solely by Bonamassa, it was the first time the guitarist’s songs bested his covers as pain and passion took centre stage.

“Making the first half of the album I was in the happiest place I’d ever been in my life. The second half found me in completely the opposite state,” he scribbled in the album’s sleeve notes. The epic Happier Times and The Great Flood bleed with that turmoil, as the former’s spine-tingling flamenco and the latter’s isolated, ghostly blues chronicle a relationship that has crashed and burned. “I’ve come to the conclusion that experience makes for better art,” he continued. “I had more to say, and it’s the first time I’ve personally opened up the book on my life.”

PERFECT MOMENT…

It’s unclear whether Bonamassa and Shirley are psychic, but Led Zeppelin became a more prominent influence in the guitar hero’s writing just before the current resurgence in retro-rock took flight, giving his work an edge. It had buzzed around in early songs like The River, but with the riff on The Ballad Of John Henry, boulder throwing motif of Story Of A Quarryman, and swirling licks on Blue And Evil, it became a defining aspect of his writing.

THE WORLD IS HIS MUSE…

For ‘Black Rock’ and ‘Dust Bowl’, Bonamassa decamped to the Greek island of Santorini and allowed the rustic culture to seep into his increasingly expansive brand of blues. Magical contributions from local musicians flavoured Quarryman’s Lament and snake charming hum of Athens To Athens, while Dust Bowl’s cinematic sounds merged with a shadowy prowl and the strongest chorus of his career. By expanding his horizons and hurling himself into new musical arenas, Bonamassa’s writing was enriched.

FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS…

Bonamassa is something of a human sponge, absorbing impressions, insights and experiences, particularly on ‘Different Shades Of Blue’, where recent collaborations continued to influence him. The swinging groove of Love Ain’t A Love Song recalled his work with Rock Candy Funk Party, while a layering of horns across the album makes it bounce like his R&B efforts with Beth Hart. The pile-driving ‘70s rock of Oh Beautiful! and swagger of Give Back My Tomorrow channel Black Country Communion.

THE BEST IS YET TO COME?

‘Different Shades Of Blue’ initially seemed too structured and deliberately commercial. But, place it within the context of Bonamassa’s songwriting journey and every lesson and collaboration feeds into its tightly crafted songs. Much of the album was co-written with Nashville-based songsmiths like James House and Jeffrey Steele and such a move plays to his inner scholar. “Next time I go to write songs I think it’s going to be a lot deeper for me,” he told the Huffington Post. “I learned a lot about songwriting just by hanging around those cats. They’re lyric-writing dudes in the way they put words together and their song structure. There’s really an artistry and a craft to it.”

Written by Simon Ramsay StereoBoard.com

Source: Guitarist Magazine