Fishman Artist // Joe BonamassaJoe Bonamassa just wanted to earn enough money to buy a deluxe Nintendo game when he started playing the guitar professionally. Then he met blues legend B.B. King. At the age of 12, his mother got a call from a local promoter, Richard Thornton asking if he wanted to be the opening act at a concert at which King was the headliner. After hearing the gifted adolescent play, King was so impressed that he invited Bonamassa to tour over the summer with his band.
Bonamassa has cited his influences as being British and Irish blues acts, rather than American acts. In an interview in Guitarist magazine (issue 265), he cited the three albums that had the biggest influence on his playing: John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers' Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton (the Beano album), Rory Gallagher's Irish Tour and Goodbye by Cream.
Bonamassa's recording career began during the early-1990s when, after meeting Berry Oakley, Jr. - the son of the late Allman Brothers bassist - the two formed the band Bloodline. Other members of the band included Waylon Krieger (son of the Doors' keyboardist Robby) and Erin Davis (son of jazz great Miles Davis). Bloodline released a single self-titled album of hard-edged blues-rock in 1994 that featured Bonamassa's scorching guitarwork. After the band's break-up, Bonamassa went back to his solo career.
Bonamassa made his solo debut in 2000 with the rock-oriented, Tom Dowd-produced album A New Day Yesterday, named for a classic Jethro Tull song covered by the guitarist. Alongside Bonamassa's original songs, the album also included versions of material from Rory Gallagher, Free, Al Kooper, and Warren Haynes, and included guest appearances by musician friends like Gregg Allman, Rick Derringer, and Leslie West of Mountain. The album would subsequently hit number nine on Billboard magazine's blues chart.
With 2006's You & Me album, Bonamassa recorded with Jason Bonham, son of Led Zeppelin drummer John "Bonzo" Bonham and a seasoned rock music veteran in his own right. With the following year's album, Sloe Gin, Bonamassa played more acoustic guitar and the song's feature the guitarist's warm, maturing vocals along side a typical mix of rock, soul, and blues originals and covers. Sloe Gin proved to be one of Bonamassa's most popular albums, spending nearly three months on the blues charts.
Over the course of better than two decades of performing and recording, Joe Bonamassa has built a loyal and still-growing fan base that appreciates his enormous six-string talents, maturing songwriting skills, and dynamic live performances. Bonamassa has also earned the respect of the blues industry. He was the youngest-ever member of the Memphis-based Blues Foundation's Board of Directors, and Bonamassa is heavily involved with the Foundation's Blues In The Schools program, which educates students across the country of the legacy and influence of the blues.
On March 26, 2012, Bonamassa released a new live DVD -- Joe Bonamassa: Beacon Theatre – Live From New York. The DVD features guest appearances by Paul Rodgers, John Hiatt and Beth Hart. Hart joins Bonamassa for “I’ll Take Care of You” and “Sinner’s Prayer” from their album 2011 album Don't Explain album. Rodgers and Bonamassa perform “Fire And Water” and “Walk in My Shadows." In May 2012, Bonamassa released his 13th album, Driving Towards The Daylight, yet another fine performance from the blues rock titan.