Joe Bonamassa

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Dan MacIntosh, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. DeadPhishBlues

    DeadPhishBlues Well-Known Member

    Pittsburgh, PA
    That’s the current rig. He’s toured with plenty of Dumble, Dumble clones, Marshalls and whatever the pedal of the month he’s placed his name on. Let’s not forget all the signature NEW Gibsons and Epiphones as well. Les Paul, 335, Firebird and Flying V. And the recent Fender Telecaster and Tweed Twin signature offerings. The guy lends his name to more signature gear then any other guitarist I know of.

    To me his playing is too slick and bombastic on every song, it’s calculated blues rock on boring songs. He’s a decent singer, I’ll give him that. That and he’s a cartoon with the marketing machine of gear, bobble heads, jewelry, and other knickknacks.
  2. slipkid

    slipkid Forum Resident

    Yup. I used to see him all the time around here for like $25-35. He & his manager have a purposeful strategy in place though to charge ridiculous prices etc though in order to make $. It appears to have worked. He still pulls the crowds. Can't blame the guy for trying to make a living I guess.
    brownsound2112 likes this.
  3. James_S888

    James_S888 Forum Resident

    Great, really great guitarist. Brilliant.
    Lacks depth.
    Needs a brilliant frontman.
    PacificOceanBlue likes this.
  4. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    We used to go hear him when he was still driving a rental box truck for the gear. His shows at that point were not very polished, and he bounced between hard rock blues and rock covers. His voice wasn't strong and his chops were amazing.
    The last few times we saw him, he had really amp'd up his game. Large tractor trailers for the gear; far more polished productions, but far louder, far more hard rock than blues influenced rock. His voice has gotten better.
    I have Live from Nowhere (whatever) on vinyl from the first issue. I haven't played it in a long time. I did buy a couple of his later records and thought, at least on LP they sounded pretty horrible. Compressed, nasty.
    He seems like a nice cat.
    Somewhere, I have a DVD someone sent me--they were at a NAMM show and knowing I was a fan at the time, had Joe send me a personal message. :)
    I remember being in the guitar section of Sam Ash on 48th street one day and the manager was telling me some guy came in and was fiddling around with some of the fancy Gibson custom shop guitars- said, 'this one is mine.' He meant it was his 'signature' guitar. I guess Joe gets around. Haven't gone to one of his shows in a long while.
    slipkid likes this.
  5. slipkid

    slipkid Forum Resident

    Regarding his musical output I am a fan, but I've found as the years have gone by I have become less of a fan than I was at the beginning of his career (I actually saw him with Bloodline and have that album btw). He started out playing more in a genre that was up my alley - blues flavored rock or straight rock - but then went too bluesy for me and his use of horn sections really really grates on me (I hate horns, especially these types of "blues horns"). All his albums have a couple songs I really like but lately they have quite a bit I dislike as well (or find to be totally forgettable).

    Off top of my head my faves are these:

    So, It's Like That (2002)


    This is my absolute favorite Joe album and one I've played hundreds of times. Just a great rock record for the ages IMO. Very catchy ROCK songs (not in his blues mode for this one). If you seek it out try to get the one with the bonus live DVD which is great as well (that may be out of print now but maybe you can find a used copy with it).

    That live DVD was also released as a CD called "A New Day Yesterday Live" but the CD is missing at least 2 songs (covers of Are You Experienced and Had to Cry Today if I remember right).


    The DVD is nice to have though to see the band, as well as some hot girls perplexingly gyrating around on stage during the show (why they hired strippers to dance around while they were playing I have no idea but I'm not complaining).

    His first studio album - A New Day Yesterday (2000)

    This live album (2 CDs) is most excellent - Live from Nowhere in Particular (2008)

    It includes his closing wrapup of going into Yes' Starship Trooper jam which is pretty cool & was an unexpected treat the first time I saw him.

    He is such a prolific artist that as a fan it is tough to keep all the releases straight though. He must have something like 15 solo studio albums and at least many solo live albums as well in addition to many side projects like Black Country Communion with Glenn Hughes, Derek Sherinian, and Jason Bonham.

    I am a big rock (and hard rock/metal fan) so it is his rockier stuff that appeals to me much more than his bluesy stuff (and again that is where the godawful horns intrude on some songs). And already being a huge fan of Glenn Hughes I love BCC.

    Regarding Joe's vocals, I like his voice. My favorite guitar player ever (Gary Moore) also gets some criticism for his vocals as well, and I think his voice is great too thus I don't get that aspect of the criticisms of either of these guys, so take my opinions with a grain of salt.

    I have most every album he's been prominently featured on except that I have never heard any of the ones with Beth Hart, or the band Rock Candy Funk Party (since funk is not my thing). And I skipped the mega-blues live ones like the Tour de Force: Live in London show that was from the SBE with a horn section (there are 3 others in this series that are not as bluesy that I did pick up) or the Muddy Wolf At Red Rocks live album.

    Also I remember back in the old days he was a very taper-friendly artist (one which even asked fans to send him tapes of his shows) and I thought that was a very cool & healthy musical attitude to have, and the type of musician I wanted to go out of my way to support by buying his releases, going to shows, help spread the word about him etc. I don't know what his policy on any of that is now but I do know that he has gone in a very capitalistic make as much money as possible direction through his management marketing all kinds of Joe paraphernalia like shot glasses, jackets, hats, earrings, paper plates, steering wheel covers, dog collars - OK I am making this list up but it seems like anything that they can imagine making a buck out of they market it. Not that there is anything "wrong" with that, just saying it does turn off some people...
    Finch Platte, craigobau and Efus like this.
  6. FloydMaui

    FloydMaui Forum Resident

    "JB" ..... is Jeff Beck .

    For me, anyway.
    Marc Daniel likes this.
  7. WarEagleRK

    WarEagleRK Forum Resident

    Chattanooga, TN
    I would go more James Brown.
    FloydMaui likes this.
  8. craigobau

    craigobau Forum Resident

    London, England
    @slipkid how do you rate the "Redemption" album ?

    Like yourself, I'm more of a rock fan, and love JB's work with BCC, but I'm not a fan of straight-blues music so a lot Joe's solo catalogue doesn't resonate with me.
  9. Efus

    Efus Forum Resident

    Jackson, NJ, USA
    Joe use to play anywhere back in the day. Every friday I opened the arts section of the paper he seemed to be playing somewhere along the shore in a club.

    Anyhow, while Im not real big on his blues playing, but when Joe gets his rock guitar on, I find myself liking that a lot.
    I did see him on that first BBC tour in Sayreville, and enjoyed that immensely.

    One of the more interesting guitar things Ive heard in the last couple years is Black Winter/Django instrumental piece that he does.
    He pretty much works the whole fret board on that one.
    slipkid likes this.
  10. slipkid

    slipkid Forum Resident

    I commented on it in the thread on that album here, page 2, post #27:
    Joe Bonamassa - Redemption - new studio album September 2018

    Basically the album has a few songs I like, a few that I hate (featuring very annoying blues style horn section is which a pet peeve of mine), and others that are just meh/too bluesy.

    My favorite song on it is one of the exclusive bonus tracks only available on the CD from Target, so if you decide to check it out I'd say go for that version. That song is called Somewhere Down the Road.

    You mentioning the love for Joe rock vs Joe blues makes me wish I had the time to relisten to all of the albums and pick out my favorite tracks, and make a Joe ROCK best of CD...

    If yer interested in exploring other blues-rock players and have never heard anything by the guy in my avatar, check out Rory Gallagher's Top Priority album. It's the kind of album I wish Bonamassa would make (again that is, like when he started out). Scorching guitar in a rocking mode but blues flavored edge to the songs without really being bluesy at all.
    craigobau likes this.
  11. Finch Platte

    Finch Platte Forum Resident

    I worked yesterday with a buddy who is a recent JB convert. He said he happened to be downtown and saw Joe's trucks/buses behind the theater, loading in the gear. He said JB had 3 semi-trucks, with Joe's name plastered on the sides, plus 4 tour buses! All this for a fairly small venue, a hair over 2,000 seats. My friend saw Joe walking around and approached him, commenting on the amount of gear. He said Joe was very friendly and talked with him for several minutes.

    I have to say, Joe's vocals have gotten more, uh, pleasant, since the first 2 discs (check out AllMusic- the guy has over 25 albums!). His vocals in the early days were a little grating to me.
    slipkid likes this.
  12. bruno66

    bruno66 Active Member

    His vocals, although a little better these days, still grate on me. For me that's what stops him becoming a megastar. Someone of the ilk of Paul Rodgers, Rob Lamothe, James Dewar... What a difference that would make
    scottpaul_iu and slipkid like this.
  13. pblmow

    pblmow Forum Resident

    I agree 100%, his voice is getting better with use. You can hear it with the albums, his voice is much better now than it was at first.
    Efus likes this.
  14. Dhreview16

    Dhreview16 Forum Resident

    London UK
    I prefer Joe’s albums with Beth Hart, she is a great blues vocalist. There’s a couple of really good ones, especially Don’t Explain. Among other things, they do a cracking version of I’d Rather Go Blind, the old Etta James classic, which Christine Perfect/McVie did a great version of in her pre-Fleetwood Mac days with Chicken Shack. I think Joe has toured with Beth.
    FritzL likes this.
  15. slipkid

    slipkid Forum Resident

    I actually like Joe's voice but was amazed to see someone mention Rob Lamothe! Might be my favorite singer (& such a great songwriter). :thumbsup:
    scottpaul_iu likes this.
  16. bruno66

    bruno66 Active Member

    I fully agree with that, amazes me how relatively unknown he is. Should be huge with that voice
  17. Finch Platte

    Finch Platte Forum Resident

    I had no idea who Rob Lamothe was until this thread. Turns out he's in The Riverdogs? Same guy? Huge voice! I have a promo copy of one of their discs (has Whisper, Toy Soldier, etc. on it), and it's one I haven't relegated to storage, it's in my 'inside' collection, so that means I like it. ;) What else has he done?
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
    slipkid likes this.
  18. bruno66

    bruno66 Active Member

    Riverdogs have had 3 studio albums a mini album 2 live and Rob has a good few solo albums different in style from Riverdogs but still showcasing his voice. Well worth checking out any of them. Riverdogs had a reunion record out late 2017 which was is good as anything in the melodic rock scene.

    As ever discogs could be the first port of call ....
    slipkid and Finch Platte like this.
  19. Finch Platte

    Finch Platte Forum Resident

    Awesome, thanks- I found the web site with samples: Riverdogs Music – California

    Checked out out Discogs- strange that an album called California isn't shipped from anywhere in the US. :thumbsdow:shrug:
  20. bruno66

    bruno66 Active Member

    It was out on Italian label Frontiers, shouldn't imagine it'd be too difficult to get in the States though surely?
  21. thxphotog

    thxphotog Camera Nerd

    Los Angeles, CA
    Bit of an exaggeration me thinks although it looks like that at a glance. He travels w two semi trucks (huge trucks, yes) and best of my knowledge just 1 (again very large) tour bus. The others your buddy saw may have been the next days act(s). :)
    Finch Platte likes this.
  22. dzjc

    dzjc Forum Resident

    I was a hater till I saw his Nerdville video on YouTube. Yeah he overplays sometimes but seems really down to earth.
  23. Finch Platte

    Finch Platte Forum Resident

    Yeah, I've told him a million times not to exaggerate! ;)
    thxphotog likes this.
  24. craigobau

    craigobau Forum Resident

    London, England
    I bought my first JB album, Redemption (Target version with 3 bonus tracks), today and after a few spins , I’m really enjoying it.

    The bluesy stuff is not normally my thing, but some of those tracks also really rock so they’re sounding pretty good to these ears.
  25. Finch Platte

    Finch Platte Forum Resident

    I was in the local record shoppe today, and the guy next to me was checking out. The clerk had the guy's CDs and was ringing them up. I saw the new JB, Redemption, in the pile and said to the guy, "that Bonamassa is an excellent album."

    He kinda went "what?" and said, "oh that's not mine, mine are the Beatles discs." They got mixed in with his. Anyhoo, he said he saw JB when he swung thru town a couple months ago, and said it was LOUD. "I like my music loud, but this was over the top. You couldn't even hear the vocals. Plus the ticket prices were ridiculous."

    I commiserated, and said I didn't go because of the prices.

    But ya hear that, Joe? Sounds like (pun intended) your tickets are too freaking expensive and you need a new sound guy.
    slipkid and carlwm like this.

Share This Page