words and pictures by Peter Nicholson.
Having had a privileged preview of Joe Bonamassa’s live video of his concert in Red Rocks, Colorado, I was eager to see (and photograph) the man in action at the Bournemouth International Centre. This iconic blues guitarist has been on the music scene for years. Since 1989 when he was tasked with opening for the Blues legend BB King, he’s gone on to create his own path to Blues greatness, collecting a worldwide fanbase along the way.
His latest album, Tales of Time, was released last month, along with the video of his live show. Bournemouth may not be as glamourous as Red Rocks, but the crowd were just as happy to see the man himself.
Taking to the stage to rapturous applause, Joe donned one of the guitars from his enormous collection and set the room alight with Evil Mama. His trade mark solo sent chills up my back. His playing was slick, deadly accurate and exuded cool! This suit and shades wearing blues man owned every note of the sound, and every inch of the stage.
The band behind him were also of the highest calibre. The rhythm section drove the songs with nuanced skill. Keyboards and backing singers added to the wall of sound. Joe’s guitar technician was kept on his toes throughout the gig. Changing instruments after almost every song, Joe made sure he got the exact tone to suit the track. Knowing a little about guitars, I was certainly suffering from “Gear envy”! Vintage classic after vintage classic.
Joe began a huge European tour on the 19th April in Helsinki which takes him through to July when he returns to the USA. If you manage to see the show during the tour, you will not be disappointed, Joe remains at the top of his game.
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