It’s been a loooonnnngggg week and nothing helps me unwind better than some driving blues guitar, and Joe Bonamassa is one of the premier blues guitarists around. He was born and raised in New Hartford, NY, where his parents owned and ran a guitar shop. With a great-grandfather and grandfather who both played trumpet, and a father who plays guitar, Bonamassa credits his parents with fostering an appreciation of music in his life as early as he can remember. When he was a young child, he would listen to his parents' record collection, and recalls sitting with his parents on Saturdays, listening to Guitar Slim, Bonnie Rait, Jethro Tull, Eric Clapton, and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.
He received his first guitar from his father at the age of 4, and by age 7 he was playing Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimi Hendrix. He cites three recordings as his biggest influences: John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton, Rory Gallagher’s Irish Tour, and Cream’s Goodbye. As he says in the interview in the second to last link below, one day his father brought home a tape of Cream’s Goodbye concert at the Royal Albert Hall. He watched everything Clapton did and later learned the licks by heart. Life in the blues lane took off after that.
The last two links will take you to Joe’s entire 2011 two hour concert at the Royal Albert Hall. If you like the blues, you’re gonna like Joe.
Blues Deluxe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gn09Xn9JF5s
Woke up dreaming: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ry4NCejMZ7E&feature=related
Had to cry today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IN-qpLNQ3w&feature=related
Acoustic Medley: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gItGaQBzsYQ&feature=related
Lonesome road blues: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10RyetlCG0g&feature=related
One of these days: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amPWsd4Sv54&feature=related
Just got paid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0APsJ9U3N0&feature=related
Royal Albert Hall Concert Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIXAywCS5Vs&feature=related
Royal Albert Hall Concert Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhWzpTMgNSU&feature=related
I’m pairing Joe with a 2008 Storybrook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel ($24.00). This wine is normally about $34.00, but my wine shop had a sale, so it qualifies for my review. It’s also one of my favorite Zins. The wine is deep purple with a bouquet of fresh picked blackberries tinged with exotic spices. The flavor is full of sweet blackberries, tart raspberries, and vibrant strawberries with black pepper accents. After a long week, this is the perfect wine for unwinding with some of the best blues guitar you’ll ever hear. Enjoy!