There's a difference in playing from your head and playing from your heart.

~ JOE BONAMASSA

“Further on up the Road” Joe Bonamassa & Eric clapton Live at the Royal Albert Hall

oe Bonamassa is a modern bluesrock phenomenon. Two decades of tireless hard work have already secured him a place in the six string hall off fame, while his continuing dedication as a torchbearer for the blues has lit a new-generation fire under the guitar hero mantle. Joe Bonamassa began his professional career twenty years ago, on November 11th, 1989, when he played his first gig at The Metro club, in Utica, New York. He humorously describes that night: "After the show I was not able to bask in the glory of a job well done, nor was I able to chat it up with the ladies that night. I was rushed out of the building Elvis-style into a running powder-blue metallic 1988 Pontiac Bonneville by my mother because bed time was 9:30 PM on a school night." Joe Bonamassa has built his career on the foundation laid by white blues/rock guitar legends like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton. He fell in love with this music very early in life—grabbed his first guitar at age 4, and was landing gigs near his home in upstate New York by age 12. Often associated with other guitar prodigies such as Johnny Lang and Eric Johnson, Bonamassa has developed a style that incorporates numerous blues idioms—a bit of Elmore James, a touch of B.B. King, etc.— but owes more to rock interpreters like Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix. Born and raised in New Hartford, New York, Bonamassa’s parents owned and ran a guitar shop. He is a fourth-generation musician; with a great-grandfather and grandfather who both played trumpet, and a father who plays guitar, Bonamassa credits his parents with, “fostering an appreciation of music in his life as early as he can remember.” He recalls at age 7, sitting with his parents on Saturdays and listening to Guitar Slim, Bonnie Raitt, Crosby,

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Stills, Nash, and Young, Eric Clapton, and Jethro Tull. Thus, he sees his music as an amalgam of all the various rock and blues he heard as a child. He was playing Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix tunes note for note at age 7. At the age of 11, during a short period of being mentored by Danny Gatton, he learned such styles as country and jazz as well as polka. During this time with Gatton, Bonamassa sat in with Gatton's band whenever they played in New York. He opened for B. B. King at 12 years of age. At 14, he was invited to attend a Fender guitar event; during that trip to the West Coast he met Berry Oakley, Jr., with whom he founded the group Bloodline, along with Miles Davis' son Erin and Robby Krieger's son Waylon. They released one album which produced two chart singles — "Stone Cold Hearted,” and "Dixie Peach." He has since played with Buddy Guy, Foreigner, Robert Cray, Stephen Stills, Joe Cocker, Gregg Allman, Steve Winwood, Paul Jones, Steve Lukather, Ted Nugent, Warren Haynes, Eric Clapton, Derek Trucks, Eric Johnson, and Jack Bruce. Bonamassa averages 200 shows every year, and with each gig, he comes more into his own as a virtuoso and a vocalist. When asked about learning his craft, Bonamassa states: “I think that any time you can learn as much as you possibly can about your craft and your trade, it's fantastic. It's what you do with the training—if you let the training run your playing, or the training run your life, then you'll sound like a book guitarist. But if you learn from that and just play what you feel; there's a difference in playing from your head and playing from your heart. If you play from your heart then that will trump all, and no school can teach you how to play with feeling. BB [King] didn't need a school to teach him that, that comes from his soul.”
A Distinctive style . com

J O E B O N A M A S S A . COM

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A Distinctive style . com

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