Tag Archives: Radio City Music Hall

Blues Update

RECORDING “BLUES OF DESPERATION” IS ONE OF THE
MOST EXCITING RECORDING PROJECTS

Blues Concerts star 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 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!

-Kevin Shirley, Producer

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

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

Exclusive Joe Bonamassa Radio City Music Hall Experience

Exclusive Joe Bonamassa Radio City Music Hall Experience

Yes People  Blues Fans!!!! Bonamassa Radio City  Music Experience is here. Jan 23, 2015

What a way to start the new year.

Exclusive Joe Bonamassa Radio City Music Hall Experience

Radio City Music Hall
Radio City Music Hall
Radio City Music Hall
Radio City Music Hall

Exclusive Joe Bonamassa Radio City Music Hall Experience

Bid Now to receive the following:

  1. 2 Front Row Seats.
  2. To Meet & Greet Passes.
  3. Peter Max # 1 “EVOLUTION” Lithograph.
  4. A signed  Jbonamassa EPIPHone Guitar.
  5. 2 Front Row Seats to Joe at Radio City on Fri Jan 23rd
  6. 2 Night Stay  at The 5 Star Four Seasons Hotel in NYC.

JBWM: Joe Bonamassa is Keeping the Blues Alive by auctioning off an incredible NYC experience for the ultimate fan. The best part: all proceeds go to funding public school music education. Click below to bid now, the winner gets 2 Front Row Seats, Meet & Greet with Joe, 2 nights at the Four Seasons Hotel, a signed JB Guitar and Lithograph!

Book Now Here

Source: Best Guitarists