Joe Bonamassa: Keeping the Blues Alive
In Concert • Civic Auditorium • March 5th
By Randy Patterson, Boomerocity.com
Imagine being 12 years old and having the guitar chops good enough to open for blues legend B.B. King – not once. Not twice. But approximately 20 shows! That is not imagining anything. That is exactly what happened with blues guitar prodigy Joe Bonamassa.
One only needs to visit the blues rock titan’s website, JBonamassa.com, to see all that the guitar prodigy has built during his 30+ year career. The site is proof that Joe has built a career and business empire that not only encompasses 30+ albums and DVDs, but is the envy of the rock and blues world.
The first thing the visitor will notice on the well-crafted site are the worldwide tour dates that make up his 200-days-per-year tour schedule and the links to purchasing tickets to those shows. During past tours, Joe has performed with some of the biggest names in blues and rock and roll such as Eric Clapton, Dion, Jethro Tull, and others.
You’ll also notice Joe’s own record label, KTBA (“Keeping the Blues Alive”) Records, where legendary artists such as Dave Mason, Dion, Jimmy Hall, Joanne Connor, Joanne Shaw Taylor, Larry McCray, Marc Broussard, and Robert John & the Wreck call their recording home. Of course, there is the merchandise store that offers every kind of Joe Bonamassa branded item possible – as well as his recordings – for fans to purchase and enjoy.
What is most unique, however, is the guitar section of the site’s online store. Not miniatures but actual, real guitars – 18 of them, in fact – that make up Gibson Guitar’s Joe Bonamassa signature line of guitars under their Epiphone brand. Sorry folks, but at the time of this writing, only two of the 18 models have not sold out. And if you already have all the guitars you want, you can also purchase related gear that will help you make some of the same guitar sounds that Joe makes.
Joe will be in concert at Knoxville’s Civic Auditorium on March 5th. In support of that show, he chatted with Boomerocity for Everything Knoxville about what Knoxville fans can expect from his upcoming show, which will be an extension of his newly redone fall shows.
“Well, I mean, we’ll be touring Blues Deluxe Vol. 2 (Joe’s latest release) at that point. I’m just looking forward to coming back to Knoxville. It’s always a fun… fun town. Great crowds as always, and great food. I didn’t realize Knoxville was such a food town until we had a day off there one time and found myself downtown and said, ‘This is a pretty good food town!’”
Since the show will feature a lot of the music from Blues Deluxe, Vol. 2, Joe talked about the volume two concept and how it came about.
“I’m proud of it. I’m proud of the way it came out and proud of the way we looked at it, you know, my career and the 20th anniversary of the first one (Blues Deluxe). And so, you know, we’ve dug deep, challenged ourselves, and went into the studio and asked the question, ‘Well now, am I a better singer now than I was?’ I don’t know – and I didn’t know the answer going in. And then the other thing was, ‘Am I a better, you know, guitar player than I was?’ And the answer was, I didn’t know. I’m proud of it, you know, given the fact that I was 25 when I did the first one.”
The interview also covered how he managed creating during the pandemic shutdown (including a full, streamed concert in an empty Ryman Auditorium) and time zones. He even had a bone to pick with Rolling Stone Magazine. His comments about all of that are strong, raw, and can be heard at Boomerocity.com, on the Boomerocity YouTube channel, and on all major podcast platforms.
Tickets for Joe Bonamassa’s show (if they are still available) can be purchased via JBonamassa.com or through Ticketmaster.