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Kenny Kramme of the Joe Bonamassa Band: Wicked guitar thrills.” Mike Joyce, Washington Post on Obrien Amplification web page

3/09/2003

Wicked guitar thrills.” Mike Joyce, Washington Post on Obrien Amplification web page

joe bonamassa

“Bonamassa is a bold talent.” Billboard
“Wicked guitar thrills.” Mike Joyce, Washington Post

There is more than one way to interpret So, It’s Like That, the title of guitar virtuoso/singer/songwriter Joe Bonamassa’s latest solo album. On one hand, it’s the title song, a rock and roll rebuff from a man who has been “put under the bridge by a woman.” On the other, it’s a kind of “eureka” — the declaration of a prodigious talent who has come to a few realizations about his craft.

A guitar player since the age of four, Joe Bonamassa’s virtuosic chops have won him fans in both the rock and blues genres. The Utica, New York native made his national recording debut in 1995 as the lead guitarist in the band Bloodline, and released his first solo record, A New Day Yesterday, in 2000.

With the recording of So, It’s Like That, (August 13, 2002/Medalist Entertainment) Bonamassa drew on his experience and the advice of legendary producer and Bonamassa fan Tom Dowd (Eric Clapton, Allman Brothers, Rod Stewart, among others) to channel the raw blues power of his earlier work into an intense, liberating collection of muscular rock songs with electrifying riffs and sweeping, anthemic choruses. Maturing as a songwriter and performer, Bonamassa framed his fiery, acrobatic guitar solos with finely honed rock and roll songcraft. "I love playing great solos,” says Bonamassa, “but a great song lasts forever.”

This kind of growth is unusual in such a young musician, but at 25, Bonamassa is already a 13- year veteran of the music industry. Having toured the U.S. steadily since an extremely young age, the hard-working Bonamassa has maintained a passion for learning from veteran musicians and absorbing a variety of musical styles. His commitment to constant progression in his work has resulted in a unique sound on record and an unforgettable presence on stage.

“Joe Bonamassa has survived 25 years without acquiring an ‘attitude’ about any of his professional experiences,” says Tom Dowd. “He is still studying other playing, writing, and singing techniques—even though he’s miles ahead of the nearest competition.”

After touring with several supporting musicians throughout the 90s, Joe solidified his power trio with drummer Kenny Kramme and bassist Eric Czar on the road in 2001, and tapped them once again to play on So, It’s Like That. Kramme and Czar’s driving rock groove allows Bonamassa to reach dizzying new heights on stage. A live album and concert DVD, A New Day Yesterday LIVE, was recorded in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, on the last date of his 2001 tour, documenting the arrival of a force to be reckoned with on the concert scene. The audience was floored by the band’s torrid performance and Joe’s elaborate, yet inherently tuneful guitar style.

Joe’s astounding ability to play the guitar was evident when he first picked up the instrument at the age of four. By the time he was 12 years old, Joe was gigging around upstate New York with a band of adult sidemen and had opened for B.B. King at a show in Rochester, NY.

King was so impressed that he invited young Bonamassa onstage with him. “Joe’s potential is so great that he hasn’t begun to scratch the surface,” King later told an interviewer. “He’s young, with great ideas. He’s one of a kind, a legend before his time.”

Bonamassa made his national recording debut as the lead guitarist for Bloodline, a band made up — aside from Joe — of the offspring of famous musicians. Waylon Krieger was the son of Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger; drummer Erin Davis was the son of jazz giant Miles Davis; and bassist Berry Oakley Jr.’s father, Berry Sr., had been a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band. Joe co-wrote much of the original material on Bloodline’s self-titled album, released in 1995.

Developing vocal skills to match his blistering guitar work, Bonamassa released his solo debut, A New Day Yesterday in 2000. The record, produced by Dowd, featured guest appearances by Mountain’s Leslie West, guitarist Rick Derringer and guitarist/vocalist Greg Allman. Guitar World awarded the record four out of four stars, and Billboard raved “[The record] smokes like a cannon... Bonamassa is a bold talent.”

On the road almost continuously since his debut release, Bonamassa was exposed to a wider variety of musical styles. “I’ve been listening to everything these days: blues, bluegrass, rock, and acoustic singer/songwriter records,” he says.

With expanding tastes and a maturing sound, Bonamassa wrote much of the material on So, It’s Like That, while on tour. Building on the passion of A New Day Yesterday, Joe made stunning strides in songwriting. In fact, he’s now signed as a songwriter to powerhouse publishers DreamWorks Music Publishing.

With this kind of ongoing growth and incredible talent, it’s clear that Joe Bonamassa is one of the most exciting young artists in music.

Please visit Joe's website at www.jbonamassa.com

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     JOE BONAMASSA WEB SITE         JOE BONAMASSA FAN WEB SITE         ERIC CZAR WEB SITE