As Joe Bonamassa grows his reputation as one of the world’s greatest guitar players, he is also evolving into a charismatic blues‐rock star and singer‐songwriter of stylistic depth and emotional resonance. His ability to connect with live concert audiences is transformational.
A child prodigy, Bonamassa was finessing Stevie Ray Vaughan licks when he was seven and by the time he was ten, had caught B.B. King’s ear. After first hearing him play, King said, “This kid's potential is unbelievable. He hasn't even begun to scratch the surface. He's one of a kind.” By age 12, Bonamassa was opening shows for the blues icon (something he also did recently as the opener on King’s 80th birthday tour), and went on to tour with venerable acts including Buddy Guy, Foreigner, Robert Cray, Stephen Stills, Joe Cocker and Gregg Allman.
Bonamassa’s recording career began in the early ’90s with Bloodlines, a hard‐charging rock‐blues group also featuring Robby Krieger’s son Waylon and Miles Davis’ son Erin. His 2000 solo debut, A New Day Yesterday, was produced by the legendary Tom Dowd; Bonamassa’s rendering of the title track, originally a Jethro Tull hit, was called, “a jaw‐dropping performance” by allmusic.com.
On top of touring, recording and overseeing the independent label J&R Adventures with his entrepreneurial partner and manager Roy Weisman, Bonamassa is an avid DJ currently manning the airwaves on Planet Rock radio with a weekly hour‐long program airing throughout the U.K. (he recently wrapped a two‐year stint on Sirius Satellite Radio). For seven years, Bonamassa has also been the foremost ambassador for the Memphisbased Blues Foundation’s Blues In The Schools program. While touring the U.S., he visits schools to promote the heritage of blues music to students nationwide and raise awareness for the award‐winning program.