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Ian Anderson and Joe Bonamassa Together in London

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I must admit I shook my head and frowned when I read of Ian Anderson and Joe Bonamassa teaming up. I figured, "Well, they'll be okay, but that's probably about it."

And now I'm eating public humble pie. I just saw a couple of fan videos from an appearance at London's Hammersmith Apollo on May 28. I couldn't have been more wrong. These guys weren't okay, they were terrific. Anderson, of Jethro Tull fame, even managed to do his one-legged dance, the "dancing minstrel" that was a favorite pose of a good part of the audiences, and for many of the press during Tull's most famous period when writing of the band. It was even Tull's trademark (official or unofficial) that appeared on some of their music. Look through the titles of some of their music and you'll see more references.

Anderson and Tull still play, although they don't command the venues and audiences they once did. That said, don't delay when you see them making a local appearance as seating often sells out very quickly. They're touring in the US in June for a limited number of dates which you can find on their website.

Joe Bonamassa is one of the big rock/blues stars of today, and Joe is a tireless performer as evidenced by his schedule.  I've seen him a number of times live, and I've never been even slightly dissatisfied. Joe puts his all into each and every lick and twang in him. He tours practically nonstop, so I'm certain he'll be at a place near you soon. He's also appeared in every music magazine worth its weight in ink, often as the best or the most popular or the most versatile, or the most something nearly every month.

A big disappointment, however, is that while Anderson and Tull are touring the US, Joe will be in Europe for two months during June and July, so there's not much chance of seeing them together in the US. Not unless the cloning boffins put in some immediate overtime.

It's also too bad there are only (to my knowledge) the fan videos of two numbers the duo performed at Hammersmith. It's also too bad that the quality of both the filming and the sound are not up to professional quality. Judging from the crowd reactions, however, before, during, and after the performances, you can rest assured that if there's film and audio stored in ones and zeroes anywhere, the audio and video will be put into public hands relatively soon. The recording companies would be fools not to do so. While the two videos are clearly amateurish and not of the greatest quality, I was still elated to see them at all. Hearing Joe and Ian isn't nearly as exciting and fulfilling as seeing them, and seeing these two clips is wonderful, in spite of the lack of professional equipment.

Watch for live appearances at a venue near you, or the Hammersmith appearance on film. You won't regret it.

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About Lou Novacheck