Joe Bonamassa plays a different shade of blues

For someone who plays the blues, Joe Bonamassa is doing his fair share of smiling these days.

Maybe it’s the Grammy nominations for his expansive albums that push the boundaries between blues and rock, the incendiary live shows that shatter those boundaries or just his good-natured demeanor – but the 38-year-old guitarist’s star continues to rise as he enters his 26th year as a professional musician.

Yes, he started making the guitar talk when he was 12, and an enthralled BB King asked Bonamassa to open up one of his shows. Ever since, through a combination of a prolific recording schedule that’s seen the release of 15 albums over the past 13 years and a tenacious touring pace of around 200 shows a year, Bonamassa is like a one-man blues heritage association in sunglasses and suit, intent on keeping the tradition alive for future generations.


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