“I’d like to introduce you to a woman without whom I wouldn’t be here today,” says Joe Bonamassa, addressing a sold-out Radio City Music Hall before bringing out his mother on her birthday. It’s a special day for the family, with the bluesman playing two sold-out dates at the iconic New York venue where his father brought him to see countless shows when he was a young, impressionable child.
The Bonamassa of today is older, wiser and one of the most revered blues guitarists out there, but his lineage echoes in this theatre. He plays a 90-minute set of career- spanning compositions with unadulterated passion, clearly savouring the moment: Black Lung Heartache is a highlight. But it’s Mats Wester’s unique nyckelharpa skills that add the most character to this tapestry of songs which made Bonamassa a household name.