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Much respect for Joe B

ch willie

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
1,118
Last Monday, me lassie and I went to see Joe Bonamassa in Memphis.

It was a tight show, great band. Joe hit every note, sang each song with heart and soul.

I've had a few days to digest the show and think about how great of a guitarist and singer Joe is.

While my girlfriend is a great fan of his, it didn't cut it for me, and I think it's because my influences have always been British or European. I do love some American players.

How is it possible to have seen such an incredible player, to have seen such a great band and perfect show but just not click with it? Taste? Something I'm incapable of getting?

I have so much respect for Joe. He's the real deal.
 

SpencerD

Active member
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Messages
911
That guy is a riddle wrapped in an enigma fried up in a big ol' skillet of WTF :D

Can't figure him out at all. That's pretty fucking cool IMHO and all that.

Listen to Black Country Communion
 

MattD1960

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2009
Messages
755
JB says it himself hes a real polorizing figure in the music/guitar world. I personally dont follow his music, great player obviously, has a sound i on paper should enjoy but he doesn't really "do it for me" that being said id love to share a scotch and pass around some guitars and chat with the dude, guy seems nice as apple pie and really passionate about the stuff he is interested in and to me NOTHING is cooler than that. Its fine to go to a show and not click with the artist you went and had an experience good or bad you did it and now u can judge for yourself what the man is all about and as an artist thats all Joe can really ask of his fans and potential fans give me a chance and you did so RIGHT ON to you for having a real opinion about it
 

ADP

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
691
He plays with a sense of arrogance that is off-putting. Shredding 50 notes a measure while looking bored at the office. This is my opinion, but maybe if he looked like he enjoyed any part of it, the audience would to.
 
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MojoJones

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2021
Messages
42
Here is my recent experience with Joe B for what it's worth... I've known for a long time that he's a polarizing figure. My brother tried to turn me on to him years ago, but something about the shades and the slicked back hair seemed like too much of a put on costume... which immediately didn't sit right with me... but in fairness to Joe most rock stars have a carefully crafted stage persona that could be seen by some as contrived.

Then some years later Joe keeps coming up in my YouTube feed. And when interviewed he comes off as really genuine, a nice guy whose geeky passion happens to be vintage amps and guitars and playing the blues, which aligns nicely with some of my own geeky passions. So I warm up to Joe a bit... yet I still keep hearing a lot of people slagging off on him, in way that seems a little over the top (what did Joe ever do to you?).

I come to find out that Joe's a child prodigy who toured with BB King... his dad was a guitar dealer.. and I begin to sense where all of this negativity might be coming from... Joe's lived in a bubble his whole life where the blues and guitar and amps have been his singular obsessive focus... he strikes me as being a child like Asperger's Syndrome type dude... his whole life he's been living inside this blues bubble.. and he's never really been in touch with the world outside it... in touch with how normies might perceive him. And the fact that they might perceive the world very differently from how he does... which is why I think he often rubs many the wrong way, and you hear people referring to him as arrogant. Which is a little unfair.

But while having phenomenal chops, somehow Joe can't help but coming off as the ultimate Blues Lawyer with his unbelievable collection of 59 Bursts, 50's Tweeds etc. etc.. etc. (I know we all rightfully hate that phrase by now!) Which seems like a bit of a contradiction in terms, because Joe can really play!

A few weeks back I decided to finally give Joe a chance and purchased the Muddy/Wolf at Red Rocks tracks. Two of my early influences and big time heroes, covered in a tribute concert at a superb venue by the contemporary face of the blues -- what could go wrong? Firstly Joe has an outstanding band, with a tremendous sound for an outdoor live setting. And Joe clearly has the same sort of reverence for the original material that I do. Then he starts soloing....

He may start out in a traditional way for a moment or two but quickly every classic song becomes a non stop shred fest... and yes, while the shredding is jaw dropping at first, it quickly begins to leave me cold. He's simply burying all of these blues classics, which he obviously has great respect for, under flurries, nay blistering squalls of notes. Whereas the originals had humanity, humor, vocal inflected phrasing, with pauses for breath, tasty licks, call and response -- Joe just goes flat out balls to the wall!

While I understand that each successive generation of new artists should bring their own interpretation and feel to the genre, and that the blues don't live frozen in time, in some museum encased in glass -- I have to say it!-- Joe, honestly, has a terrible feel for the music. For what makes it live and breathe, the gut wrenching emotion, the sly innuendo, the sexiness, the vocal phrasing -- and particularly the dynamics. If you're gonna play blistering passages of notes at least build up to it, earn it... make it a part of a satisfying climax to a song. I was terribly disappointed to hear him, backed by such an outstanding band, just bulldozing his way through such a tastefully curated sampling of the Chicago classics. There seems to be a fundamental disconnect in this guy... I'm not expecting him to be BB King, but to my ears something indispensable is missing from the equation...
 

bursty

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
564
Last Monday, me lassie and I went to see Joe Bonamassa in Memphis.

It was a tight show, great band. Joe hit every note, sang each song with heart and soul.

I've had a few days to digest the show and think about how great of a guitarist and singer Joe is.

While my girlfriend is a great fan of his, it didn't cut it for me, and I think it's because my influences have always been British or European. I do love some American players.

How is it possible to have seen such an incredible player, to have seen such a great band and perfect show but just not click with it? Taste? Something I'm incapable of getting?

I have so much respect for Joe. He's the real deal.

I hear you and I feel somewhat the same.
Like yourself I agree Joe has the chops, he has the vocals and he has the band and most folks would believe that with all that going for him there would be nothing else required.
For me however Joe just lacks 'something' and I can't put my finger on exactly what that something missing is.
Something about Joe just doesn't come across to me as being organic, sincere or otherwise pure.
Sure, there is the massive talent and on multiple levels but there just seems to be no real feeling, no real magic, no je ne sais quoi.
Jimi had that, Stevie had that, multiple others have had that but Joe just doesn't seem to have reached that level.
For some reason Joe just comes across to me as contrived and again that isn't taking anything away from his massive talents.

I'm sure I could be missing something but .......
 

Wilko

All Access/Backstage Pass
Joined
Mar 11, 2002
Messages
20,893
You guys get Sirius radio? He does a great show on BB King’s Bluesville.

He knows his stuff and plays some great tunes!

I love the stuff he covers as well. (Ain’t no love on the streets—loved the Tim Curry version) He gets to record and play with all the greats.

He has his own niche and runs it well. Great for guitar music in general.
 

harleytech

Member
Joined
May 19, 2017
Messages
74
I love Joe B.
We would all love to be him and have what he has...
(He has great talent as a guitarist and a collector of vintage instruments and amps... Is what I meant..)
 
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rialcnis

Active member
Joined
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
221
Too many guitar based bands, are essentially rehashing a similar, broad style and so the music can lack the adventure of the new musics from the most famous adventurous eras.
 

bursty

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
564
I love Joe B.
We would all love to be him and have what he has...

irregardless of the thread subject (JB) I for one am glad as Hell that I am who I am and I have no inclination whatsoever to be any other person, nor to have what any other person has.
Those concepts are purely emotional, those concepts are at best quite unhealthy and at the worst could lead to severe mental issues.
I surly don't feel that way and I'm sorry that you do but please don't speak for, "we would all" which includes me.

I have my own identity and I have my own experience; I don't require to be someone I'm not.
Thanks .......
 

renderit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
10,970
I hope someday to play 1/10th as good as he.

And I think him to be an entirely likable fellow.

His presence here is missed.

His style?

It is his. Like Stevie Ray it leaves some cold, and I understand that, but he (and SRV) ADD to the style not take away.

I really enjoy how BB could not play a note and you felt it.

But that was his style.
 
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