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#2725832 - 10/05/15 05:31 PM Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing?
Griffinator Offline
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I've checked out some of his live material, and I'm just not getting what the buzz is about this guy. Okay, so he opened for BB when he was 12. And he's released 15 studio albums, but the hour or so worth of material I've listened to so far (a live performance) sounds all pretty much the same.

He's got solid derivative (SRV/Beck) chops, but his solos lack direction, and he loves pedaling on one chord too much.

Someone please enlighten me here...

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#2725834 - 10/05/15 05:39 PM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: Griffinator]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Originally Posted By: Griffinator
I've checked out some of his live material, and I'm just not getting what the buzz is about this guy. Okay, so he opened for BB when he was 12. And he's released 15 studio albums, but the hour or so worth of material I've listened to so far (a live performance) sounds all pretty much the same.

He's got solid derivative (SRV/Beck) chops, but his solos lack direction, and he loves pedaling on one chord too much.

Someone please enlighten me here...


He's got considerably better than competent chops, plays with style and taste, and has great tone; but, he also doesn't seem (to me) to be inventing or even re-inventing anything. Honestly, I think most of us are in that same (latter) boat, really.

I'd certainly take him over a LOT of what's out there, and I can't help but think that he seems to be a really nice guy, who's also sort of bearing the torch for better playing and music- particularly fairly traditional Trad/Classic Blues/Rock- in beleaguered times. Much more so than, say, "Kenny G" allegedly did for Jazz, for example, who I don't care much for, to say the least. But I also have never owned any of Joe's recorded works in any format. I almost feel kinda bad about that. Almost, just a little...
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#2725849 - 10/05/15 06:28 PM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
desertbluesman Offline
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Bonomassa is a very competent guitarist. I have never watched him for long on the TV, because his stage presence kinda bothers me. But I think he can play and play very professionally. He has an excellent tonal taste, and gets things outta that Les Paul and Marshall amp that give me the shivers, it sounds so good. For tone he is a master.
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#2725871 - 10/05/15 08:46 PM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: desertbluesman]
p90jr Offline
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Lawyer rock.

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#2725884 - 10/05/15 11:27 PM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: p90jr]
Larryz Offline
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I'm not a fan, but he's got a lot of talent, that's for sure... cool
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#2725925 - 10/06/15 06:42 AM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: Larryz]
Danzilla Offline
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Loc: Baltimore, MD
I enjoy his playing. I've got several of his albums and have found them all to be decent. Updating older blues tunes to a modern style, but still being respectful to their heritage. Original songs are good, too. I understand DBM's comments on stage presence, and on some of his live albums, his stage banter can be a little pedantic. "We're gonna play a little blues for you if that's alright." Um, I think that's what we're expecting, Joe.

He's a relatively self-made man, in that he's kept going strong without a big label behind him. I just wish he'd tone down some of his marketing. Does anyone really need a bunch of bobble head Joes , one for each guitar he has? Well, if they're buying them, so be it. I'll just take a cd, thanks.
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#2725943 - 10/06/15 07:45 AM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: Danzilla]
SEHpicker Offline
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Can't argue with success. Personally I think he is a very good, even excellent guitarist in the genre he plays.
He's certainly knows how to market his talents. There are probably boatloads of guitarists out there that are better than Joe - that we've never heard of.
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#2725952 - 10/06/15 08:29 AM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: SEHpicker]
p90jr Offline
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I remember him as the pudgy little kid prodigy in guitar magazines, and then in a band with the kids of famous musicians (Bloodline), and I wondered "who the hell is this kid?"

Never cared either way, but I read a quote a few years about his jamming with BB thing as a kid where he said "I had no idea who BB King was..." and that kind of did him in for me... I think his dad did a lot to push him into the limelight when he was 13 or something.

His playing doesn't move me, personally, and I don't hear a song in most of what he does. I am kind of fascinated with the whole thing... it is marketing... we call it "lawyer rock" around here because if you can play the blues in a way that appeals to middle-age guitar playing lawyers you make a good bit of dough. Never tell a lawyer you don't think he's that great, though... I can tell you that from experience.

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#2725953 - 10/06/15 08:30 AM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: SEHpicker]
jimmac Offline
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I watched some of a concert at Red Rock and he was OK to watch and played very good. Later I saw a complete concert he did in europe at some opra house using only acustic guitars and he totally blew me away. This is on u-tube so I think it would be easy for you to find. I noticed the u-tube video while looking for something else. Jim

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#2725954 - 10/06/15 08:38 AM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: SEHpicker]
whitefang Offline
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His solos "lack direction"?

I've been saying that about EVH for a LONG time!

If YOU TOO, don't feel the same about Eddie, then there must be some OTHER factor in your thoughts on Joe.

Frankly, I was never too familiar with him until seeing some PBS presentation late last year.

I DO agree about his being "derivative", and I'D assert it's CLICHE-ic. But he maintains a good tone and does have some admirable chops, so I guess it's more a matter of personal taste.

Like those people who LOVE Barbara Streisand, and those who DON'T, really. Both camps would agree that her singing voice is good, but differ as to what she does with it.

It's pretty much the same with Bonamassa. AND EVH for that matter.
Whitefang


Edited by whitefang (10/06/15 08:39 AM)
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#2725958 - 10/06/15 09:03 AM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: whitefang]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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As a bona-fide middle-aged guitar playing lawyer ( wink ), I dig Joe's stuff.

However, I have to ask why it seems as if every blues rock guitarist who pops up post-1991 is dismissed as "derivative" when, in all fairness, that label could be applied to most guitarists out there on some level. We all consciously or subconsciously pay homage to the ones who inspired us to play, and true, out-of-the-box innovators are rare after all these many decades of electric guitar.

This is ESPECIALLY true in venerable genres like electric/heavy blues rock.

(FWIW, I hear more Page than Beck or SRV in his compositions & playing.)

I WILL agree without reservation that his marketing department IS a bit...overzealous.


Edited by Dannyalcatraz (10/06/15 09:05 AM)
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#2725964 - 10/06/15 09:38 AM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: Griffinator]
LeftyBlues Offline
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He's a bit of a conundrum because I like his stuff (have 5 or 6 cd's) but he doesn't hit me in the heart emotionally alla SRV did. I will probably like him more as he ages and eases off the gas a bit (more blues, less rock) but he is definitely a big force in what we call blues these days and I feel he respects and tries to honor the history of blues. Love the term "lawyer rock" though!
Lefty out <static>
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#2725965 - 10/06/15 09:39 AM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
CEB Online   content
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My favorite stuff is still the original Bloodline album.

I don't really give jack about the guitar chops. I like the vibe of the rhythm section and the work as a whole. I would have to seen how they would have matured as a group if they would have stayed together.

I don't hear a lot of SRV which by the way is 85-90% Trower. He reminds me some of Ian Moore who is my favorite guitar picker to have come out of Austin with an ocassional pinch of Popa Chubby when Chubby plays that slick New York style blues.



Edited by CEB (10/06/15 09:45 AM)
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#2725970 - 10/06/15 09:56 AM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: CEB]
CEB Online   content
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I think I will listen to this this morning.

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#2725974 - 10/06/15 10:16 AM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: CEB]
SEHpicker Offline
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Wow - Thanks CEB - somehow I have never heard Ian Moore before.
Really tasty. Definite SRV influence - but in a more bluesy way.
And a killer voice.
I think I'll dig a little deeper into this guy's material.
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#2726001 - 10/06/15 11:39 AM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: SEHpicker]
CEB Online   content
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The first 2 albums were good. From what I hear he was being pushed into being a guitar god by the record people and he didn't want to go there and wanted to be more known as a singer songwriter.

Musically he went in another direction starting with the 3rd record.
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#2726063 - 10/06/15 03:09 PM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: CEB]
Fred_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: CEB


I don't really give jack about the guitar chops. I like the vibe of the rhythm section and the work as a whole.

when Chubby plays that sliues.



Hey CEB,

I agree. I really enjoy inserting hip chord phrases into my Blues.

In the last few years I've gotten away from a scalar approach to soloing. I am now playing blues using "Chord Tone Soloing". I think it sounds super cool and since your thinking about chord shapes, it's easy to insert some cool rhythmic ideas. A nice, Jazzy sound.

BTW: What do you mean by New York style" Blues? I'm not familiar with the term. Could you post an example?

Be well and Play well.



Edited by Fred_C (10/06/15 03:14 PM)
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#2726098 - 10/06/15 04:56 PM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: Fred_C]
hurricane hugo Offline
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I loved the Black Country Communion albums; should've done more with that project.
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#2726133 - 10/06/15 07:39 PM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: hurricane hugo]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Agreed!
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#2726142 - 10/06/15 08:36 PM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: jimmac]
p90jr Offline
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Originally Posted By: jimmac
I watched some of a concert at Red Rock and he was OK to watch and played very good. Later I saw a complete concert he did in europe at some opra house using only acustic guitars and he totally blew me away. This is on u-tube so I think it would be easy for you to find. I noticed the u-tube video while looking for something else. Jim


These concerts air during the pledge drives on your local PBS station. We make a lot of money with signed Epiphone Special and concert ticket and DVD packages... which blues lawyers gobble up!

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#2726145 - 10/06/15 08:46 PM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
p90jr Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dannyalcatraz
As a bona-fide middle-aged guitar playing lawyer ( wink ), I dig Joe's stuff.

However, I have to ask why it seems as if every blues rock guitarist who pops up post-1991 is dismissed as "derivative" when, in all fairness, that label could be applied to most guitarists out there on some level. We all consciously or subconsciously pay homage to the ones who inspired us to play, and true, out-of-the-box innovators are rare after all these many decades of electric guitar.

This is ESPECIALLY true in venerable genres like electric/heavy blues rock.

(FWIW, I hear more Page than Beck or SRV in his compositions & playing.)

I WILL agree without reservation that his marketing department IS a bit...overzealous.


I think "derivative" gets applied to the guys copying things second or third generation, which would've happened generationally at about '91. Like I said, I was reading an interview, maybe in GP, and they asked Bonnamassa about playing with BB at such a young age and he said "I had no idea who he was, so it was just like, whatever..."

You know, when someone's playing licks filtered through to generations of imitators rather than studying the source.

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#2726155 - 10/06/15 10:33 PM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: p90jr]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Yeah, but that's the man talking about YOUNG Joe B- the player he has become is probably as savvy about the real deal as anyone you can name. Otherwise, you wouldn't see him doing songs like this:






Edited by Dannyalcatraz (10/06/15 10:34 PM)
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#2726170 - 10/07/15 02:17 AM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
The Geoff Offline
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I'm not knocking him, but I don't 'get' him either.

I played with some great players at jam sessions who lit me up more than Joe.

G.
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#2726181 - 10/07/15 04:21 AM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: The Geoff]
Eric Iverson Offline
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He plays really well in his style. Gotta give him credit for that.
Not a big fan, either, but I'm glad he's successful. At least he's a PLAYER and not a POSER, LOL. Not in the news because of bad behavior rather than talent, etc. etc.
No names here, to protect the innocent bystanders......

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#2726252 - 10/07/15 09:52 AM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: Eric Iverson]
desertbluesman Offline
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Oh the tone, last time I saw a you tube video, I was real impressed with his tone.

He also did a little video on how to get the best sounds from a guitar using the volume and tone controls, playing through one of those little boutique Fender tweed clones, The tone he was demoing was simply stunning.

I have to laud him for his blues licks, and awesome tonal choices. He has that down pat.
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#2726296 - 10/07/15 12:40 PM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: desertbluesman]
Griffinator Offline
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By all means, I'm not bagging on him for his ability to operate the instrument. His songwriting did nothing for me, nor did the conversational aspects of his soloing, though. The licks were clean, but they didn't really speak, other than a vaguely parrot-esque background chatter. Like I've heard all those words said exactly that way before, ya know?

Maybe there just isn't any new ground to break in blues? That carrying the torch for blues means basically retreading all the old paths?

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#2726307 - 10/07/15 01:43 PM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: Griffinator]
SEHpicker Offline
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Joe might be a derivative of prior influences - but aren't we all?
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#2726308 - 10/07/15 01:44 PM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: Griffinator]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Griffinator

Maybe there just isn't any new ground to break in blues? That carrying the torch for blues means basically retreading all the old paths?


There is some truth there. Blues & blues rock are petty tightly defined. Ditto other genres, like reggae, bluegrass, etc. After an artist strays too far away from the core, it becomes more a new genre or a "fusion" rather than "the real deal".
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#2726309 - 10/07/15 01:47 PM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: SEHpicker]
Griffinator Offline
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Sure, but at the same time, we tend to recombine and mesh our various influences and come out with something that at least sounds like a different voice. That was what left me empty after investigating his live stuff. Yeah, it's an impeccable tone, and yeah his fingers are precise, but it's like a long string of quotes. The riffing sounds like he lifted it straight off a Robin Trower record. The licks are the same licks I've heard from SRV, Beck, Trower, etc. It's almost insipid to me how much cloning he does.

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#2726338 - 10/07/15 03:17 PM Re: Joe Bonamassa... what am I missing? [Re: Griffinator]
desertbluesman Offline
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Originally Posted By: Griffinator
By all means, I'm not bagging on him for his ability to operate the instrument. His songwriting did nothing for me, nor did the conversational aspects of his soloing, though. The licks were clean, but they didn't really speak, other than a vaguely parrot-esque background chatter. Like I've heard all those words said exactly that way before, ya know?

Maybe there just isn't any new ground to break in blues? That carrying the torch for blues means basically retreading all the old paths?


Don't get me wrong, I never watch him all the way through a video, he is just too stiff on stage for me to watch, I never bought any of his recordings. His playing is fairly clean and his tone is awesome, I can get much of that tone from my gear as well, but to me tone matters a big bunch. As far as "new licks" is concerned he does do a nice set of tried and true pentatonics, as well as throwing in some fuller scalular things. He is basically playing the blues, and there ain't much you can do "new" as far as the blues is concerned, all of the blues players are doing similar things pretty much, a little bit of new and a lot of what they heard when learning. He is a good player. Not anything I would buy, but you have to give him credit for being a fully pro guy on stage in his playing, and tone.
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