He is one of our favorite guitar players. Here are some interesting facts about Joe Bonamassa:
(Photo: Gus Stewart)
1. Joe Bonamassa was born as Joseph Leonard Bonamassa, on May 8, 1977, in New Hartford, New York.
2. He grew up in a musical family, and his father was a guitar dealer who exposed him to a variety of music genres, including blues, rock, and jazz.
3. At the age of 4, he received his first guitar and began taking lessons. By the age of 7, he was already performing in public.
4. In 1989, at the age of 12, Bonamassa opened for blues legend B.B. King.
5. In the early 1990s, he was discovered by blues musician Danny Gatton, who invited him to perform at his shows.
6. In his teenage years, he played in a band called "Bloodline", which also featured the sons of Robby Krieger ("The Doors"), Miles Davis, and Berry Oakley ("The Allman Brothers Band").
7. In 2000, Bonamassa released his debut solo album "A New Day Yesterday," which was produced by Tom Dowd and featured collaborations with musicians such as Gregg Allman and Rick Derringer.
9. In 2011, he collaborated with Beth Hart on the cover album "Don't Explain". Since then he released 3 more albums with her, including "Live in Amsterdam," which was critically acclaimed and commercially successful.
10. In 2009, he released the album "The Ballad of John Henry," which reached number one on the Billboard Blues chart.
11. In 2012, he released the album "Driving Towards the Daylight," which featured collaborations with "Aerosmith's" Brad Whitford and former "Whitesnake" guitarist Doug Aldrich.
12. In 2013 he started collaborating with "Candy Funk Party", a jazz-funk band that was formed in 2009. Bonamassa released 3 studio albums and a live album with them.
13. In 2016, he collaborated with blues guitarist and singer-songwriter Eric Gales on the album "Different Shades of Blue".
14. In 2019, he formed the band "The Sleep Eazys" and released the album "Easy to Buy, Hard to Sell," which was a tribute to his early influences.
15. In 2020, he released the album "Royal Tea," which was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London and featured British musicians such as Bernie Marsden and Jools Holland. This album gave him his 4th Grammy award nomination.
16. In 2021, he released a collaborative album with blues singer-songwriter and harmonica player Jimmy Vivino called "Together in the Spirit."
17. The same year he released his 15th album "Time Clocks".
18. In Addition, Bonamassa released 18 live albums between 2002 to 2023.
19. In 2020, he was inducted into the "Musicians Hall of Fame" and Museum in Nashville, which honors musicians of all genres who have made significant contributions to the music industry. Bonamassa was inducted in the guitar category, joining other legendary guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Duane Allman.
20. Bonamassa is also known for his philanthropic efforts, including his work with the Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation to support music education in schools and his fundraising for various charities.
21. He is a collector of vintage guitars and has amassed a collection of over 300 instruments, including several rare and valuable pieces.
22. He also owns a guitar store in Las Vegas called The Bona-seum, which showcases some of his favorite guitars.
23. Bonamassa is an avid car collector and has a collection of vintage and exotic cars.
24. Bonamassa has performed at some of the world's most prestigious venues, including the "Royal Albert Hall" in London, the "Sydney Opera House" in Australia, and the "Beacon Theatre" in New York City.
25. Bonamassa has been recognized with several awards throughout his career, including Guitar Player magazine's "Best Blues Guitarist" award and the "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the UK's Guitarist magazine.