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Joe Bonamassa Nominated For Best Worldwide Solo Artist Award

Celebrated blues-rock guitarist and singer-songwriter Joe Bonamassa has been nominated for “Best Worldwide Solo Artist” at Planet Rock’s fifth annual The Rocks Awards. The awards celebrate the best rock artists, albums and singles across the UK and worldwide. To cast your vote for Joe click HERE.

Joe Bonamassa will be on tour in the UK in March playing seven shows, including the already sold-out concerts at the Carlisle Sands Centre (Mar 11) and the Sage Gateshead (Mar 14), tickets are still available for the shows at the Cardiff Motorpoint Arena (Mar 9), Manchester Arena (Mar 10), Aberdeen GE Oil & Gas Centre (Mar 13), Birmingham Genting Arena (March 16) and Brighton Centre (Mar 17).  The tour follows his successful 2017 UK tour including two sold out concerts at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall.

The March 2018 UK tour will feature Joe alongside a hand-picked group of world-class musicians playing material from Blues of Desperation, plus classic Bonamassa fan favourites.

Reader Comments (17)

After some bummer news in the past few days, let me ask a more light-hearted question of our reasoned array of posters: am I missing something when it comes to Bonamassa?

Try as I might, I just can't figure out the passion that some people have for this fellow. I mean, I wish him no ill and am glad that people enjoy his music.

And I am not a musician, so I can't really comment on his playing. All I can say, is that he sounds clinical to me, sorta' like what happened when they (re-)introduced Buddy Guy to the masses a couple of decades ago (not that I wouldn't chose Guy over Bonamassa when I want a blues fix) with _Damn Right, I Got the Blues_ (1991).

I asked a friend of mine, one who plays the guitar, what his thoughts were. His response? "Well, he has all of the right components save actual feel." Take that for what it is.

I'd appreciate some feedback. Cheers!
February 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHim
HIM! You nailed it! Joe Bonamassa lacks the “it” factor, the thing that Louis Armstrong described the following way — “If you gotta ask what “it” is, you’ll never know!”.

I think “it” could also be interpreted as “no feel”, to paraphrase your friend.

Yet, I’ll take it one step further ... Bonamassa is the embodiment of mediocrity.

I think the reason I say this is he seems to never take any chances with his playing — no daring, no risks. It’s nothing I haven’t heard before from other players who play it with way more heart and soul.

You could say he operates in the same territory Gary Moore (RIP) did or even Clapton at various times in his career, as well as Jonny Lang — that being the territory of somewhat of a purist of blues as played on electric guitar. The difference is Moore, Lang and especially, Clapton, blow him out of the water.

I watched with what could be deemed as great interest (as in “Who is this guy?”) AND ultimately, boredom for nearly an entire live broadcast (2 hours long) on AXS as I tried to figure out what the fascination is with him.

But then I fell asleep.

p.s. No doubt, I’m sure Bonamassa a favorite among Republicans everywhere the same way LeRoy Neiman was Nixon’s favorite painter.
February 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
A musician friend of mine said (paraphrasing), Bonamassa is a hack who never had an original idea in his life. I tend to agree. It's like he's playing in a Joe Bonamassa cover band all the time. He plays all the notes, gets them right, but it's nothing you haven't heard before.
February 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGogmagog
Him. You know when you go to a store and the name brand product is on the top shelf, while on the shelf below is the store brand generic of the “same” product, only cheaper (and many times not quite as good?) Thats what I’d equate Bonamassa to. Let’s call it Stevie Ray Lite....Lol
February 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGary
Interesting comments. I posted this solely for Christian. He loves him - and he's also a guitarist. I don't have a dog in this fight! - Allyson
February 14, 2018 | Registered CommenterAllyson B. Crawford
Christian! Come out! Come out! Wherever you are!
February 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
glad to see that people here aren't taken in by the bonaamassa hype. all chops, no feel. I actually think his best playing was on an album that came out in the mid 90s by a band called Bloodline. I think the older he got, the more he has phoned it in. I caught Bonamassa opening for George Thorogood at the old Fourth and B club in San Diego in the late 90s. He was pretty good then, but doesn't play with that kind of fire anymore. Him, whatever you may think of the commercialization of Buddy guy, and I agree with your assessment from a studio album standpoint, that is not the case with him when you see him live. He always brings it 1,000% in concert.

Jonny lang has done the opposite of Bonamassa. I couldn't stand lang's playing or singing when he was a young phenom, but he has gotten so much better with age.

also, interesting comment about Clapton. when he truly brings it, he is one of the best, but he has definitely phoned it in from time to time throughout his career. I saw him in the mid 90s on that tour when he was doing nothing, but blues tunes. He was playing so by the numbers then that I actually fell asleep after about 45 minutes. No passion, no innovation, just recycled blues lick after recycled blues lick played with no guts. I think that reuniting with Jack bruce and ginger Baker, then subsequently Steve Winwood reignited his passion for playing.
February 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Thanks for the input everyone. And sorry if I hijacked this thread, Allyson, even if it was on-topic!

Had me laughing again, Gary. And great point, Bob, about the difference between live and studio.

If some of you would indulge me one last time (given that his name didn't come up): what is your opinion of SRV? Seems like he would be part of any discussion of blues playing white dudes.
February 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHim
Him, my friend, at the risk of having my head ripped off, I think that SRV was loaded with talent that he didn't always use to its full potential. Clearly, he mastered all of the most important blues guitar licks and, when he was young and hungry; slugging it out all night in Texas bars, he played those licks with incredible fire and intensity. the problem was that, as his fame grew, along with his appetite for drugs, he was still playing those same licks, but without the same passion. I dare say that his tragic death made him more of a legend than he deserved, if you base that legend solely on his body of recorded work. Now, if we're gonna talk about white dudes who played blues guitar like their life depended on it, let's make sure we mention Johnny Winter, and Mike Bloomfield.
February 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Appreciate the input, Bob. It helps getting a perspective on things like this from people with better backgrounds than my own.

I can certainly think of other cases where a 'death cult' sprung up around artists, influencing (if not inflating) their status going forward. I can also think of artists who lost the fire and passion that initially brought them acclaim, for whatever reason, in their youth or whenever it was they were starting out. I think we all can.

More generally, I love discussions like these. They are what makes BBG! so great.
February 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHim
Huh-uh-lo-oh! I saw Buddy Guy playing on the roof of a 1987 Lincoln Continental (I’m gonna assume it was his) out in the parking lot of Wild Rose Cafe in East Hampton, Long Island in 1992!

The “Guy” actually went out the front door of the place during a solo and just kept blazing ‘til he was on top of that Lincoln and just kept on blazing for a full 3 minutes out there and kept on going ‘til he was back in stage inside and then continued to play that same solo for another 3 minutes until he started singing again!

Obviously, THAT, my friends, is the polar opposite of mailing it in!
February 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Oh hell yeah, Metalboy! I saw Buddy Guy do the same thing at the Zodiac Club in Allentown, PA in the early 90s. Ran straight out the front door and never stopped playing. I've seen Buddy Guy at big and small places many times over the years. Dude *never* phones it in.
February 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Both Bob and Metalboy! clearly point out the differences between live and studio offerings. A good point to stress.

And I hope no one thought I was talking smack about Guy live. Why would I? I'm not fit to do so.
February 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHim
Him, my good sir, I certainly didn't think you were talking smack about Buddy Guy. You were right to point out that his late 80s/early 90s comeback of sorts was commercialized. Getting back to SRV, it is my perception that, even live, once he got famous, he wasn't playing with the same fire he was when he was coming up. now, that could be because of the drugs, or it could be because, in the very wise words of Bill ward, "It's hard to be hungry when you're not hungry."
February 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Actually, HIM, if I may, I was not talking about Guy in terms of live and studio recordings. Buddy Guy is the REAL deal. I don’t get the “commercialization” you guys are talking about when it comes to him and so have ALL his stuff.

Same with Stevie Ray Vaughan ... I never once picked up on that guy mailing (or “phoning”, if you prefer, Bob) it in guys, no matter how f*cked up he was or wasn’t. Even if he’s not exactly my cup of tea, I can tell he was an ENORMOUS talent, having given the other great guitarslingers of our time a run for their money.
February 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Oh, and let’s not forget that little ol’ band from Texas, ZZ Top!!! ... adding them into the GOOD pile!
February 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Metalboy!, my good sir, nice shoutout for ZZ Top. I've seen them a million times in concert, the first being in 1980 with a really cool Michigan band called The Rockets opening up. I still have my ticket stub; $7.50. billy gibbons can say more with one guitar note than most players can say with 10. As for SRV, yes, he was bursting with talent, no doubt. It's just a subjective thing I guess. to my ears, after a while, he mostly played blues by the numbers; far below his ability if that makes sense.
February 18, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBob

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