What to expect when Joe Bonamassa hits the road

A shot of joe bonamassa live

Often credited with reinvigorating blues music, Joe Bonamassa was just 12 years old when he opened for BB King, and he now headlines the world’s biggest venues. The New York-born guitarist/vocalist sets the scene for five UK dates, and tells us about the rebirth of Black Country Communion.

You must be looking forward to the Royal Albert Hall shows.

This will be the third and fourth time I’ve played there. Two nights in my favourite venue in the world, and arguably the one that made my reputation, is very exciting.

Have you played the Blackpool Opera House before?

Yeah. It was on the day that Jim Marshall [of Marshall amps fame] died [in April 2012]. The show, the audience and the theatre were great, but that was a sad day.

The concert you played last summer in Greenwich, during which you honoured guitarists Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck, was rumoured to have been filmed.

That’s correct. But I’ve no idea when it’s getting released. We’re backed up with DVDs. The next one is my show at Carnegie Hall [New York, January 2016], which despite being among the most ambitious things I’ve done – I played with a nine-piece acoustic band – came out great. It was a typical Joe freak show [laughs]. That’s due in June.

You played your third Keeping The Blues Alive cruise in February. Was that fun?

Yeah, and we raised a hundred thousand dollars for charity. Its great line-up included Bruce Hornsby and Beth Hart, and also a guy called Marcus King who you’ll be hearing a lot more from over the next twelve months. He’s twenty years old and sings like he’s been possessed by Lowell George [Little Feat] and Warren Haynes [Gov’t Mule], and he plays guitar like Terry Kath [Chicago].

Joe Bonamassa dolls are now available on your Facebook page.

I make no apologies for that. I really don’t take myself too seriously.

The sales pitch says: “They come with a better personality, more talent and better hairline than the real thing.”

[Laughs] It’s true!

What can you tell us about Black Country Communion’s upcoming fourth album?

The final pieces of the puzzle are now being put in place for what I’m told is an August release. The songs are more collaborative on this album than before. That’s why I think it will be the best one that we’ve done.

You’re due make a new solo album in July, but are BCC likely to play any gigs?

My record is prepped and I’m very excited about it. But BCC will be playing live, maybe this year but also maybe next year too.

The tour ends in Sheffield on April 24.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.