Friday, April 8, 2011

So, who is Joe Bonamassa?

It's very rare, these days that I turn on the television and discover a new musician or band, but this weekend proved to be one of those bizarre and awesome instances.  For some odd reason, I had a few minutes to kick back on the sofa Saturday afternoon and couldn't find anything to watch, so I changed the channel to Palladia, which is one of the HD music channels on Dish Network.

I instantly recognized Eric Clapton, but he was sharing the stage with another guitar prodigy that I have never seen nor heard before.  In all honesty, I thought I was watching an Eric Clapton concert that was filmed at Royal Albert Hall, but Slowhand left the stage and this amazing guitarist remained and absolutely shredded the blues.  After a pressing the "Info" button on my remote control, I learned this was not a Clapton concert I was watching, it was all Joe Bonamassa. Who is this guy?  Where do I sign up? Why am I just now hearing his music for the first time?

Well for those of you that have been living under the same rock as me, Joe Bonamassa is a 33 year-old guitar virtuoso from New York State.  He is a fourth-generation musician that began playing guitar at the age of 4 and could play songs by the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix, note-for-note, by the age of 7.  At age 12, Joe was opening for blues legend, B.B. King and 2 years later founded a group called Bloodline with Miles Davis' son, Erin and Robby Krieger's son Waylon.

Bonamassa released his solo debut in 2000 and has since released over 8 new albums and 3 live recordings in the past decade.  He is currently touring in various countries all over the globe in support of his latest album, Dust Bowl, which released on March 22, 2011.

In addition to sharing the stage with Eric Clapton and B. B. King, he has also played with other music greats including Buddy GuyForeignerRobert CrayStephen StillsJoe CockerGregg AllmanSteve WinwoodPaul JonesTed NugentWarren Haynes, and Derek Trucks.

I figured that I should start with his most current album and work my way backwards through the discography.  All I can say is, if Dust Bowl is only a taste of what Joe Bonamassa has to offer, then I am on a mission to purchase everything this man has done. Did I mention that he can also sing with as much soul as he shreds his guitar with?  If you have the chance, check your local listings and watch the Joe Bonamassa-Live From The Royal Albert Hall concert; just prepare to have your mind blown!  Joe Bonamassa is the real deal and the genuine article-one of the best musicians in the business right now.   Thanks, Palladia!!

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