Friday, 6 April 2012

Joe Bonamassa - Trent FM Arena

Full Set list

Intro 2 Minutes to Midnight (Iron Maiden)
  • Slow Train
  • Last Kiss
  • Midnight Blues (Gary Moore)
  • Dust Bowl
  • Who's been talking (Howlin Wolf)
  • Sloe Gin (Tim Curry)
  • The Ballad of John Henry
  • Lonesome Road blues
  • Song of Yesterday (Black Country Communion)
  • Steal your Heart away (Bobby Parker)
  • Blues Deluxe (Jeff Beck)
  • Young Man Blues
  • Woke up Dreaming
  • Django
  • Mountain Time


  • Driving toward Daylight
  • Just got paid (ZZ Top)

Outro Cheap Sunglasses (ZZ Top)

Joe with his guitars and stacks

This was a fantastic concert for sure and unfortunately will have to wait for about a year to see him again. But we have the new album in May to look forward to.

Apart from being a guitar maestro I was really impressed with the power and range of the vocals. This is definitely something that has improved over the years and maybe something that tends togo unnoticed. Talking about changes over the years it was only a few years ago that he was playing in front of 80 - 100 fans at venues not much bigger than pubs. Something that Joe spoke about to the crowd how he started out playing the Running Horse in Nottingham and steady progression sees him playing sold out arenas now.

This was actually a re-arranged concert from the original date in October 2011 when Joe cancelled due to flu. He joked with the crowd that someone spotted him having lunch and said 'you're the flu boy arent you?'
He was on good form and joked that he was releasing his 13th album in May this year and like the previous 12 didn't expect a hit from it.....

He did play the track 'Driving Toward Daylight' from the new album which in his best English accent he said had been described as 'A Corker'. I have to agree it sounded brilliant and I can't wait to hear the album.

The set continued with a mixture of some classic covers from the likes of Gary Moore, Howlin Wolf', Bobby Parker, The Who, Jeff Beck and ZZ Top. There was also a Black Country Communion track which is Joe's side project.

The highlights for me were the back to back tracks 'Sloe Gin' which is now an ever present and something of an anthem live and the pounding 'Ballad of John Henry' just superb!

Joes touring band is as follows:

Carmine Rojas - Bass
Tal Bergman - Drums
Rick Melick - Keyboards

All of whom have a 'who's who' CV of who they have played and toured with.

Performing 'Midnight Blues' (Gary Moore)

The show started with Iron Maiden's 2 Minutes to Midnight as an intro before bursting into 'Slow Train' from the latest 'Dust Bowl' album. The tile track itself appeared 2 tracks later. It really was like the master at work mixing power with sublety and i think that crowd were almost spellbound. His fingers were moving quicker than it is humanly possible to think!

JB has often stated his influences as being British and Irish blues acts, rather than American artists(with the exception of B.B. King). He found the English blues, played by the Jeff Beck Group, Eric Clapton,Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and the Irish blues players Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore, to be far more interesting to him than the original Delta blues players. In an interview in Guitarist magazine (issue 265), he cited the three albums that had the biggest influence on his playing: John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton (the Beano album), Rory Gallagher's Irish Tour and Goodbye by Cream. B.B king is certainly his biggest traditional influence

And in his October 2008 interview with Express & Star:

“When I heard Kossoff playing "Mr. Big" and when I heard Clapton playing "Crossroads" and when I heard Rory Gallagher playing "Cradle Rock", I was like, 'This is way cooler'.... "British blues are my thing. When I heard Rod Stewart and the Jeff Beck Group singing "Let Me Love You", it changed my life. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Those are my influences".

A child prodigy, Bonamassa was finessing Stevie Ray Vaughan riffs 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 and went on to tour with classic acts including Buddy Guy, Foreigner, Robert Cray, Stephen Stills, Joe Cocker and Gregg Allman.

You may be familiar with the music video game 'Guitar Hero' well here was a real live one! Every so often a superstar emerges in their field, who people talk about long after they have retired. I'm thinking of someone like Donald Bradman in cricket or Pele in football. It might be a bit early to start mentioning JB in those legendary terms just yet but there is no doubt this guy is a guitar genius.

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