Why now? Picking up the guitar at the tender age of four, little Joe Bonamassa knew what he wanted to do. He was going to play like the artists he heard on his father’s records. And play he did. Playing local clubs on weekends at ten years old, Joe was making a name for himself. By the age of 12, Bonamassa had caught the eye of B.B. King, who asked Joe to tour with him. Now, 16 years later, Joe heads out on the road with King once again as part of B.B.’s 80th Birthday Tour. In a way, it’s a return to his roots for Bonamassa.
After his stint with King, Joe didn’t slow down. In his teens, he played with the group Bloodline, made up of the sons of some of music’s greats -Erin Davis, son of Miles Davis on drums; Barry Oakley Junior, son of the Allman Brothers’ Barry Oakley, on bass; and Waylon Krieger, son of the Doors’ Robbie Krieger. Younger than his band mates, Bonamassa held his own as lead guitarist while the band cranked out a fusion of blues, boogie, funk, and southern roadhouse rock. A short time later, he found the experience left him wanting a more active role in the direction his career would take.
For the last several years, Bonamassa has led his own band – with Kenny Kramme on drums, Eric Czar on bass, garnering critical acclaim from BluesWax Ezine, Guitar Player , Tone Quest, Guitar One, and Billboard Magazine. Today, the Joe Bonamassa Band consistently packs clubs in the U.S. and Europe. In his most ambitious European tour to date, fans are desperate for tickets as venues quickly fill to capacity. Talent buyers across the pond are already scrambling to book the band for next year – in much larger venues.
Can Joe’s success in Europe translate in to wider recognition at home? Absolutely. U.S fans have already displayed their enthusiasm and loyalty, bringing friends to see the band, and watching as jaws drop in amazement. Through his fans’ efforts, Bonamassa has received greater airplay despite his steadfast refusal to sell out to large corporate stations and sponsorship.
In his evolution from the wunderkind of yesterday to proven blues rocker, Bonamassa has continued to refine his talents as a guitarist, singer, and songwriter. With each CD and performance, the level of Joe’s commitment to his craft is evident. Just when you think he can’t get any better, he exceeds all expectations.
Part of the magic lies in the undeniable chemistry between Bonamassa, Kramme, and Czar. It transforms these three men into one of the most electric power trios blues rock has ever seen. One foot solidly in the past and one planted firmly in the here and now, Joe taps into his bottomless well of creativity to bring us not only great blues standards, but original tunes that defy description. With such limitless talent, Bonamassa has what it takes to keep the blues alive for years to come.
Rocking hard enough to attract metalheads and guitar nuts, Joe still remains true to the blues. Like many of his influences – B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Rory Gallagher, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Danny Gatton, Bonamassa brings a refreshing burst of energy to favorites such as “Reconsider Baby”, “Walking Blues”, and “Wild About You Baby.” At the same time he manages to bring us new material like “I Don’t Live Anywhere”, “The River”, and “When the Sun Goes Down” – sure to become the standards by which all up and coming blues rockers will aspire.
Joe Bonamassa’s potential has only just begun to be realized. With new fans joining his legions of followers at every turn, Bonamassa is the face of the blues today. Uncompromising in principle and demanding of himself in his music and business, he promises to reach audiences in his own time.
The time has come. Joe Bonamassa’s time is now.
Look for Joe Bonamassa on tour with B.B. King throughout August and September of this year. This is one show you don’t want to miss.
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