Tag Archives: Joe Bonamassa

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

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Blues Update

Blues Update

 

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

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

Previous Updates:

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Adam Kennedy, 08 Mar, 2016

Source: Blues Songs

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!

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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

Blues Update

“Bonamassa is back with his best studio album since The Ballad of John Henry… Blues of Desperation is a future classic in the making.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Adam Kennedy, 08 Mar, 2016

Source:Best Guitarist in the World

Blues Update

Blues Update

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

Best Guitarist in the World Joe Bonamassa and Gibson

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 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”.
Joe-Bonamassa-pic3-1050x700

Blues Update

Press Release

Guitar Rock Star Redefines Blues Rock with New Studio Album

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

King Of Blues

Blues Update

Producer’s Note

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

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

All About Blues

Joe Bonamassa Launched Three Kings Tour This Summer

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Joe Bonamassa presented a new live tribute to Albert, B.B. and Freddie King summer 2015.
 Dubbed Three Kings of Blues, the show will continue in the vein of Bonamassa’s previous blues productions that began with the 2014 production of Joe Bonamassa – Muddy Wolf at Red Rocks, a tribute to the music of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.
To download a free song from Joe Bonamassa – Muddy Wolf at Red Rocks, click here: http://bit.ly/1CVeXra.
Three Kings tour tickets went on sale Saturday, February 7 at 10:00 a.m. (local time). Click HEREto buy & to get updates on more tour dates: http://www.jbonamassa.com/tour-dates.
For the concerts, Bonamassa had backed drummer Anton Fig, bassist Michael Rhodes, former Double Troublekeyboardist Reese Wynans, and horn players Lee Thornburg (trumpet), Paulie Cerra (saxophone) and Nick Lane (trombone).
The tour took place on August 7 at Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ and wraps up August 29 at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. The Greek Theatre performance was filmed for DVD and Blu-ray and will continue Bonamassa’s tradition of honoring concert venues like the Royal Albert Hall, the Vienna Opera House, Radio City Music Hall, Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the Beacon Theater. As with all Bonamassa DVD shoots, the performance at the Greek  bought some interesting collaborations in presenting this historic music.
Best Guitarist in the World Three Kings Tour was covered on the following dates
(All dates, cities and venues below subject to change.)
Aug 07 – Camden, NJ, Susquehanna Bank Center**
Aug 08 – Holmdel, NJ    PNC Bank Arts Center**
Aug 10 – Saratoga Springs, NY,  Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center**
Aug 12 – Bangor, ME, Darlings Waterfront Park**
Aug 14 – Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Blossom Music Center**
Aug 15 – Dayton, OH,  Fraze Pavilion
Aug 17 –  Denver, CO,  Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Aug 20 – Salt Lake City, UT,  USANA Amphitheatre**
Aug 22 – Mountain View, CA, Shoreline Amphitheatre**
Aug 24 – Paso Robles, CA, Vina Robles Amphitheatre
Aug 25 – Santa Barbara, CA, Santa Barbara Bowl
Aug 26 – San Diego, CA, Humphreys by the Bay
Aug 28 – San Diego, CA, Humphreys by the Bay
Aug 29 – Los Angeles, CA, The Greek Theatre