Joe Bonamassa is an American blues guitarist and vocalist from Utica, New York. Recently, he won the 2010 Reader’s Choice Award for Best Overall Guitarist and Best Blues Guitarist by Guitar Player Magazine.
Joe Bonamassa was born to play the guitar. He received his first guitar at the age of four; a gift from his father. By the time he was seven years old, he was playing Jimmy Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn songs by heart, lick for lick. At the age of 14, he opened up for B.B. King. He has since gone on to tour with musicians such as Eric Clapton, Greg Allman, Steve Winwood, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray and Derek Trucks.
Although Bonamassa has a healthy respect for traditional American blues artists such as Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, he has stated that his greatest influences come from British guitarists. In an interview with Express & Star in October 2008, he said, “British blues are my thing. When I heard Rod Stewart and the Jeff Beck Group singing "Let Me Love You", it changed my life. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Those are my influences."
Joe Bonamassa’s adult career started in the 90s when he met up with Berry Oakley, Jr. and started Bloodline, a band that included Mile Davis’ son Erin and Robby Krieger’s son Waylon. Together, they made one album called Bloodline. His first solo album, A New Day Yesterday, was produced by the incredibly talented Tom Dowd in 2000. In 2009, he was awarded the Breakthrough Artist of the Year Award at the Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards.
Bonamassa’s newest album, his eighth studio release and the tenth solo album, is titled Black Rock. This is Bonamassa’s fifth album produced by Kevin Shirley, who also produced albums for Led Zeppelin and The Black Crowes, as well as many other outstanding artists. Backing him on the album are Anton Fig and Bogie Bowles (drums), Carmine Rojas (bass), and Rick Melick (keyboards).
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