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Joe Bonamassa: The Best Unknown Guitarist

Updated on May 6, 2017
JOE BONAMASSA (2010) | Source


Hurricane Sandy just devastated the East Coast this week. Millions of individuals have suffered hardships beyond their wildest imaginations in the flooding and winds that they endured. Many that stayed through the hurricane found out what Gulf Coast residents have long known, Mother Nature is beautiful, but can be horrible at times.

My family and I discovered that as we rode out several hurricanes living along the Gulf Coast in Alabama for fourteen years. Now, along the East Coast, people are finding electricity, transportation, and life's daily items that are so taken for granted are now missing and ruining life as it was once known.

Yet, despite the hardships being endured, most are moving forward and working to get their lives back to some semblance of normalcy. As the days, weeks, and months progress, today's victims will look back at Hurricane Sandy as a terrible experience, but one that didn't stand in their way of succeeding and getting back to enjoying life as they were accustomed.

Normally, I do creative writing of some sorts. This is not a creative writing hub. Instead, it's a music review of a man and his music that tends to soothe the pains of life and take me into a land of recovery. Hopefully he can do the same for many once power is restored, and homes are once again filled with the joys of family.


Black Country Communion has just released a new cd called "Afterglow."


Black Country Communion ... you've heard of them, right?

Many people haven't. Just like the masses that haven't heard of the lead guitarist of this band named Joe Bonamassa. Joe is possibly one of the best, if not THE best guitarist in existence today. He's released ten solo albums and five live albums, along with three live concerts on DVD. Yet, most people still say, "Who?"

JOE BONAMASSA (2007) | Source

Joe's Guitars

Just a few of the guitars used by Joe Bonamassa include:

  • 2008 Joe Bonamassa Les Paul #180
  • 2008 Gibson Joe Bonamassa Les Paul #52
  • 1999 Gibson Les Paul Historic Tom Murphy with Bigsby
  • 2007 Gibson Les Paul Historic Gold Top
  • 1982 Gibson Korina Flying V
  • 2009 Musicman John Petrucci Model Baritone
  • 2009 Musicman 25th Anniversary Hardtail
  • 2009 Yamaha LJX 26C Acoustic


Joe was born May 8,1977 to a family in New Hartford, New York. Joe's parents owned a guitar shop, which can be a big help to an aspiring guitar player. In fact, guitar playing is in his genes as Joe's the fourth generation to play guitar and travel the musician route in his family.

When only four years old, his father presented him with his first guitar. By the time Joe reached seven years old, he was playing songs by Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Allman Brothers Band, and even some Jimi Hendrix.

At age twelve, Joe Bonamassa began his professional career as an opener for B.B. KIng, the great Blues artist that most have heard of. Joe remembers playing the guitar behind his neck and atop his shoulders and seeing B.B. watching him from just offstage. Obviously, an interest was born and a professional career was forthcoming.

At age 14, he help co-found the group Bloodline, which produced the singles "Stone Cold Hearted" and "Georgia Peach." Since that time, he's played with the likes of Eric Clapton, Foreigner, Buddy Guy, Gregg Allman, Stephen Stills, Ted Nugent, and many, many more tremendous guitarists.

Bloodline "Stone Cold Hearted" (Live)

Solo Career

In 2000, Joe released his first solo album called "A New Day Yesterday." Name sound familiar? It should as Jethro Tull had a tremendous hit with the song decades before. Critics the world over stated Joe's version put Jethro Tull's to shame. On this album, Gregg Allman, Rick Derringer and Leslie West join in to assist the young man's debut reach #1 on Billboard Magazine's Blues Chart.

Predominantly known for being a blues artist, one might find hints of folk, rock, and even a little soul music among his many offerings. He’s created a name for himself by excessive touring, and only producing albums of quality music. This probably explains why his cd’s aren’t as promoted as most. They simply don’t fit into the “trash” category that most of today’s music so easily fits.

My personal favorite of his is, “Joe Bonamassa: Live From The Royal Albert Hall.” This was released in 2009. and features songs from most of his solo releases. In viewing the DVD or listening to the cd, you’ll find space jazz, rock, acoustic, and his exceptional blues selections continue your direction for over two hours. In addition, you’ll enjoy the guest appearances by Eric Clapton and Paul Jones.

Joe Bonamassa Solo Live Releases

Release Year
A New Day Yesterday Live
Premier Artists
Shepherd's Bush Empire
J & R Adventures
Live From Nowhere In Particulare
J & R Adventures
Live From The Royal Albert Hall
J & R Adventures
Beacon Theater: Live From New York
Mascot Records/ J & R Adv's

Joe Bonamassa (w/ Eric Clapton) "Further On Up The Road" (Live From The Royal Albert Hall)

Joe Bonamassa Solo Studio Releases

Release Year
A New Day Yesterday
So, It's Like That
Blues Deluxe
Had To Cry Today
You And Me
Sloe Gin
The Ballad Of John Henry
J & R Adventures
Black Rock
J & R Adventures
Dust Bowl
J & R Adventures
Driving Towards The Daylight
J & R Adventures
BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION (Belgium 2011)  (Derek Sherinian, Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham)
BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION (Belgium 2011) (Derek Sherinian, Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham) | Source

Black Country Communion

In 2009, Joe teamed up with Glenn Hughes (Black Sabbath, Trapeze, Deep Purple) on lead vocals, Derek Sherinian (Kiss, Alice In Chains, Alice Cooper, Billy Idol, Planet X) on keyboards, and Jason Bonham (Virginia Wolf, Bonham, UFO), the son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John “Bonzo” Bonham, on drums. This alliance formed a supergroup named Black Country Communion.

Traveling the more traditional “Heavy Metal” route, Black Country Communion released their first album in 2009 called “Black Country.” In 2011, “2” was released, in February of 2012 "Live Over Europe" (a live release) came out, and on October 31st, 2012, “Afterglow” hit the record stands. All have gained a limited following as the music leans itself to the "Dio/ Black Sabbath/ Whitesnake" heavy rock sounds of times past.

Black Country Communion Releases

Release Year
Black Country
J & R Adventures
J & R Adventures
Live Over Europe
J & R Adventures
J & R Adventures

Black Country Communion "Confessor"

A Final Word

I love the music of Black Country Communion. However, not being particularly fond of Glenn Hughes’ voice, I tend to believe Glenn’s shrieking would be better replaced by a vocalist with a much lower range. Many will like it though, so what do I know?

Joe Bonamassa continues release albums and solo tour as well. Last year's late release with artist Beth Hart was more of an acoustic fare that received mixed reviews. Released earlier this year, his latest effort, “Driving Towards The Daylight” carries on Joe Bonamassa’s trademark tradition of quality to which most fans have become accustomed.

As music reviewing is only one person's opinion, many will either agree or disagree with what has been shared. To this reviewer, Joe's music soothe's the pain, quiets the rain, and makes the insane sane. My hopes are that he can do the same for you.

Joe Bonamassa Collaboration Release With Beth Hart

Release Year
Don't Explain

Information for this article came from:

  • Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia
  • Joe Bonamassa, "Live From The Royal Albert Hall" DVD (Insert and Audio)
  • Personal Collection of Joe Bonamassa Albums (Album Inserts)

Joe Bonamassa "Had To Cry Today"

©Copyright RCRUMPLE2012. All Rights Reserved


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