Watching Joe Bonamassa live can make you feel like everyone else you have ever seen playing a guitar has been playing it wrong. It’s hard to describe what it sounds like when a guitar isn’t just an instrument, but is an extension of the artist’s body. Joe knows guitar.
I hear people try to do comparisons to other blues greats, like Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Gary Clark Jr and all the other amazing other players I didn’t mention, but comparing Bonamassa to anyone is a mistake. Every great artist has their own musical “voice”, and Joe Bonamassa’s voice is unique. He plays from the heart, and if you are in the room his guitar seems to reach into your soul. I know, that sounds odd, but trust me… it’s something to behold.
One part of those comparisons does hit close to home though. Joe’s keyboard player is Reese Wynans (pictured above), and Reese was in Stevie Ray Vaughn’s band Double Trouble. I kept watching Reese while thinking of Stevie Ray – one of the artists I sadly missed seeing live. Watching him play keys is exciting, as is watching all the band members.
Joe’s band is the best of the best, a who’s who of musical legends. Drummer Anton Fig spent 29 years as the drummer for David Letterman’s band, and is one of the most in-demand session drummers in the industry. Bassist Michael Rhodes is just as well know. He has played with Mark Knopfler, Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, Elton John, Stevie Nicks, Emmylou Harris, Faith Hill, and Taylor Swift!
And add to those the horn section. Trumpet player Lee Thornburg was a member of Supertramp and Tower of Power, and Sax great Paulie Cerra has a resume including Stevie Wonder, Kirk Franklin, Lucky Peterson, Luther Allison, Little Milton, Bobby Bland, and Billy Preston. Add all of that up and you have what might be the most amazing lineup you’ll ever see on the same stage.
Joe Bonamassa live is something you have not just see but experience, and you really need to see this show.
As always, there is a gallery of more photos below, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the show. Follow me online at:
All Images Copyright 2018 Steve Brazill, All Rights Reserved.