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Joe Bonamassa


IanHenry
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I got tickets to see Joe Bonamassa play at Blackpool last night and despite Joe and the bands excellent musicianship I'm afraid the show left me cold. I went because I'd never seen him play live before and I'd been told by many people that to see him live was an experience. I'd already bought his last studio album Blues of Desperation to familiarise myself with his latest work and have to say that whenever I've listened to that I always wonder when it's finished "what have I just listened to", it's instantly forgettable. During the show Joe was guilty (in my opinion) of self indulgent noodling.

 

Do you think Joe dose to much? I can't help thinking that He should take a break so he can write some better material, the guy never seems to stop working!

 

 

Ian

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Yeah.. Ive never seen him live but even watching him on youtube bores me.. Im not sure exactly why either... He plays amazingly but theres just something missing... Originality maybe? Maybe the genre has just been done to death and we have just heard it all before?

 

So its weird cos I feel like I should like him and his work a lot as that type of blues is usually right up my street, but I don't really?

 

I like him more as a guitar nerd cos he does certainly knows his stuff. But as a musician or artist, not so much..

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Yeah.. Ive never seen him live but even watching him on youtube bores me.. Im not sure exactly why either... He plays amazingly but theres just something missing... Originality maybe? Maybe the genre has just been done to death and we have just heard it all before?

 

So its weird cos I feel like I should like him and his work a lot as that type of blues us usually right up my street, but I don't really?

 

I like him more as a guitar nerd cos he does certainly knows his stuff. But as a musician or artist, not so much..

 

This is exactly how I feel.

 

Back when I wanted to check him out I bought Live from Nowhere in Particular, that was 2008 and it never few in me.

 

Same thing with Black Country Communion or whatever.

 

He is a. Amazing player but somehow I do not follow him, he's played a few times here and I have not seen him.

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Yeah.. Ive never seen him live but even watching him on youtube bores me.. Im not sure exactly why either... He plays amazingly but theres just something missing... Originality maybe? Maybe the genre has just been done to death and we have just heard it all before?

 

So its weird cos I feel like I should like him and his work a lot as that type of blues is usually right up my street, but I don't really?

 

I like him more as a guitar nerd cos he does certainly knows his stuff. But as a musician or artist, not so much..

 

Yes Rabs, I think a lot of the problem is because he doesn't really have his own style and the "blues" he writes is clichéd. I wasn't expecting the show to be all that good, it's just everyone told me that he was amazing live, well now I know! I don't want to knock the bloke because I can see he works incredibly hard but it's, well just boring.

I've seen a few "guitar hero" types before including Gary Moore and Rory Gallagher and their shows were full of excitement. I think Joe's problem is his material is poor and his delivery is sterile.

 

 

 

Ian

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Yes Rabs, I think a lot of the problem is because he doesn't really have his own style and the "blues" he writes is clichéd. I wasn't expecting the show to be all that good, it's just everyone told me that he was amazing live, well now I know! I don't want to knock the bloke because I can see he works incredibly hard but it's, well just boring.

I've seen a few "guitar hero" types before including Gary Moore and Rory Gallagher and their shows were full of excitement. I think Joe's problem is his material is poor and his delivery is sterile.

 

 

 

Ian

I was once talking to a guy about Joe B. And we discussed the same things.

 

His line was.. Well at the end of the day hes just a man in a suit.. which I kind of had to agree with..

 

And like you its not that im bashing him cos he works hard and makes a good living at it.. but its just not for me.

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Amazing player! But (for me) there's nothing behind or "under" it! It's all "surface" or "Show!" I'm afraid I have

that opinion, of a lot of what I call "technical" players. It's ALL "technique," with little if any real "soul" or

feeling! BUT, that's just my opinion, and you know what they say about opinions.

 

He seems a nice enough fellow, really. But, for me, there's just no "spark," much less a fire. [tongue][confused]

 

 

CB

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It is pretty hard to carve a unique image and style these days. His shtick I guess is the shiny suits and sunglasses for that martini lounge look.

 

I think he plays great, knows his stuff and sounds great but his singing was the first thing that does not do it for me.

 

It's a weird thing, it's like Ritchie Kotzen, great player and actually good voice but the songs are not there.

 

There are others in that same category for me.

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I think CB hit on it - there is no expression of emotion in the playing, it's just licks for the sake of playing licks. He can play fast, he can copy any lick anyone else ever played, but there is no feeling. Carlos Santana expressed a lot more feeling just holding one note than JB does playing hundreds of notes.

 

I grew up and played in Chicago for many years and there is blues ad nausea going on every night. I can usually watch about one sets worth and then it all sounds the same. But some players get through to you and others it's just mechanical.

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Well, to each their own.

 

 

 

When we went to see him when he came to Boston in 2016, I thought he and his band was fantastic as did every one in the group of friends I went with.

 

I don't know what you guys are looking for or what your expectations are.

 

Everyone freaks out over guys like Jack White, but I think he's horrible.

 

Again, to each their own.

 

I dig Joe, the guy is on the top of his game right now,... and I aint afraid to say it...

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Well, to each their own.

 

 

 

When we went to see him when he came to Boston in 2016, I thought he and his band was fantastic as did every one in the group of friends I went with.

 

I don't know what you guys are looking for or what your expectations are.

 

Everyone freaks out over guys like Jack White, but I think he's horrible.

 

Again, to each their own.

 

I dig Joe, the guy is on the top of his game right now,... and I aint afraid to say it...

 

 

I give you an AMEN!!

 

 

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Well, to each their own.

 

 

 

When we went to see him when he came to Boston in 2016, I thought he and his band was fantastic as did every one in the group of friends I went with.

 

I don't know what you guys are looking for or what your expectations are.

 

Everyone freaks out over guys like Jack White, but I think he's horrible.

 

Again, to each their own.

 

I dig Joe, the guy is on the top of his game right now,... and I aint afraid to say it...

 

Please Kidblast, never be afraid to voice your opinion, it's always welcome. As you say, each to their own. I have to admit I've never heard anything by Jack White so I couldn't possibly comment on him.

Regarding Joe Bonamassa, I have no problems with the guy himself in fact from what I've seen about him he seems to do a lot for charity's etc and no one could ever question his work ethic. I have quite a few of his albums but I think his older stuff is good but I'm now overly impressed with his later work. I also think he should stop having his name associated with merchandise like this: https://shop.jbonamassa.com/collections/dog-apparel?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTUdFME56TmtPV05oWkdaayIsInQiOiJDTnJIbVY5XC9rYTRIWGU2YjN0bnE5TEZ4YTBoYmp5azV6UEpBRmJ1Sld2VmZBOExlSVJIbWQrZjRNdlBJdlFyaVZseHhDT2ZpM3h1emRKbzFOS3ppd3NBdjNpdTR6YkxjK2FDZ3g5dE9oNFd1dGFcL2RkbndrM1oyT0ZyemJPVUFMIn0%3D But I suppose, at the end of the day, it's whatever lights your candle.

 

 

Ian

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Hi Ian, and thx!

 

I agree with what your saying, some of his earlier stuff is very good and it's def. off the well lit roads for main stream blues/rock which is probably why people don't get all that excited about what he's doing sometimes.

 

But still think his last few blues based albums are well done. for me, some of this it goes beyond the performance for this guy and goes down to what sort of "person" this guy is.

 

One thing to know about Joe B. that may not be well known, he is a self made man at this point. he's on no ones dime and never has been. Last I checked, his net worth was approaching 5 mill (that was maybe 1.5/2 years ago). the merchandising is all part of how he makes up for not being owned by any major label.

 

The guy is also an honest man. I follow his guitar safari blog now and then, some of those stories shed light on the kind of guy he is. one example, he found a early 60s strat for sale a few years ago, in amazing condition. the seller had owned it since he was a kid, was trying to sell it to fund his sons 1st years college tuition, he knew it was worth "Something" and what ever it was, would help.

 

His asking price was I think 10 or 11k , Joe - who knows his stuff - told the guy it was worth 17~18k, and wrote him a check for amount of worth, not the asking price. This is just ONE example of how he does business with ppl. Now, I could have the numbers wrong, but the gist of it is what it is. I read stories like this compared the stories I read from some of these other well known pros who are great musicians but maybe just "not" great people.. and it makes me appreciate the guy just that much more, call me a hopeless romantic I guess, but in a world where greed reins king, it's nice to know there are guys like this out there.

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One thing to know about Joe B. that may not be well known, he is a self made man at this point. he's on no ones dime and never has been...

 

I'm not arguing with you, and I'm not saying anything bad about Mr. Bonamassa, but there are facts.

 

Anyone that gets their lessons from Gatton, opens for BBKing at the age of 12, and is called "Smokin Joe Bonamassa" is not at all self made. Like I said above, had Taylor Swift not had the parents she had, parents bent on my kid making it big, she'd be in my band. If I had Joes parents, bent on my kid makin it big, Joe would be in my band and I'd be Smokin rct playing with Berry Oakley's and Miles kids.

 

Self-made is extremely rare in the music business, and basically hasn't existed since it was fully monetized by the end of the 80's. Joes parents were in the business, and even if not gigantic successes in their own right, they knew the ropes and how to get their prodigy promoted past their career high three. How do you get yer little kid lessons with Gatton? I don't know if they mortgaged as many houses as Taylors parents did, they flat out bought her first record deal.

 

I agree, he is fundamentally a good guy, he does a tonne of charity work, and I know that story of the old guitar he paid list for and I commend him highly for it, and he is a great guitar player. If I had the...leg up he had, I'd be quietly payin it forward too.

 

rct

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I'm not arguing with you, and I'm not saying anything bad about Mr. Bonamassa, but there are facts.

 

Anyone that gets their lessons from Gatton, opens for BBKing at the age of 12, and is called "Smokin Joe Bonamassa" is not at all self made. Like I said above, had Taylor Swift not had the parents she had, parents bent on my kid making it big, she'd be in my band. If I had Joes parents, bent on my kid makin it big, Joe would be in my band and I'd be Smokin rct playing with Berry Oakley's and Miles kids.

 

Self-made is extremely rare in the music business, and basically hasn't existed since it was fully monetized by the end of the 80's. Joes parents were in the business, and even if not gigantic successes in their own right, they knew the ropes and how to get their prodigy promoted past their career high three. How do you get yer little kid lessons with Gatton? I don't know if they mortgaged as many houses as Taylors parents did, they flat out bought her first record deal.

 

I agree, he is fundamentally a good guy, he does a tonne of charity work, and I know that story of the old guitar he paid list for and I commend him highly for it, and he is a great guitar player. If I had the...leg up he had, I'd be quietly payin it forward too.

 

rct

 

Point taken and received, but @ pushin 40, at some point you gotta stand on your own 2 feet I think. The novelty of his youth associations aside, I believe the shine wears off at some point. There were others that came just before Joe B. did, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Johnny Lang. Job B at the time was "Oh great, here comes another one".. so he had to fight through that a bit.

 

I'm not arguing either, but I appreciate the straight forward discussion we can have here.

 

ya can't be loved by everyone. I don't think for a second that people who disagree with me are wrong. different strokes is all.

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Skilled player no doubt...but for me there seems to be too much " fake Soul "..msp_thumbdn.gif

 

 

okay I hear ya,, but this is where I sort of lose my way in understanding these opinions. again, not picking an argument but can anyone enlighten me with any examples to share to the contrary? I would honestly love to hear it..

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Skilled player no doubt...but for me there seems to be too much " fake Soul "..msp_thumbdn.gif

 

Yikes, I hate to say stuff like that. It was said about Stevie Ray and probably about many other white blues players.

 

Joe is a hell of a player but the blues is well overdone...and so is rock to a point, it is one of those things, the new stuff grabs you or it does not.

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Skilled player no doubt...but for me there seems to be too much " fake Soul "..msp_thumbdn.gif

 

Yeah, I don't know about the fake soul thing. I think he plays with a lot of heart and soul and I enjoy watching and listening to him play. Whether or not listeners appreciate that is another thing. For me it comes down to the fact that I like all the old music that I like because I grew up with it and it has been part of my life for decades. It moves me when I hear it, which is why I enjoy JB's cover arrangements so much. JB's original stuff doesn't do that for me because I haven't really listened to much of it so it doesn't have the same meaning for me. It would almost be like going to a Zeppelin or other classic band reunion concert and watching them play all new material for the first time.

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Sorry you didn't like his gig, Ian. Must have been a bit of a let down.

 

I've not got a whole lot to add regarding the particulars of his music to the conversation as I don't have any of his albums - nor seen him in concert - and until about 10 years ago had never heard of the guy but I the first time I saw him play was a clip of some masterclass he was fronting to a bunch of young players (late-teens?) where he played some drop-dead great Chicago-style blues followed by some great slide followed by some...etc...etc...

 

A year or two later I was shopping for music CDs and one blues track being piped through the store caught my attention. I 'Shazam'd' it and, to my slight surprise, it was a JB track. Ten minutes and a few different musical-genre cuts later another blues track caught my attention........This happened FOUR times in half an hour. All sounded slightly different - as if they were from different albums - and none were covers but all were VERY enjoyable IMO.

His skill is not doubted by anyone here. I didn't know about his charity work; I did know about his wonderful Geekiness in all things guitar. His enthusiasm is endearing and he really does seem to be a likeable, self deprecating and witty guy.

 

I don't know enough about his music to say whether I could last 2 hours of him playing originals but I bet the Three Kings tour was a blinder!

 

Pip.

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