Joe Bonamassa

Just musing on my feelings about him and his ‘style’… I’ve bought a number of recordings over the years, have seen him live and if asked I would say that I ‘like’ his music but more recently I’ve found that there’s something I can’t quite put my finger on.

Perhaps it’s that his playing is a tiny bit robotic or formulaic and lacks a little ragged edge that is needed to inject some excitement? He certainly is a technically accomplished performer.

What do others think?


There is something that does not quite gel for me. He is a gifted guitarist , but i play parts of an album, rarely the whole album……and that may be it for a couple of years?


I am following Joe since 6 or 7 years. I bought almost all CDs he has released and two years ago I had the chance to visit one of his concerts in Munich. That was quite awesome.

However I have to admit that I see the quality of his albums a little declining - especially the last two. I honestly think that he has a frequency of releases which is a little too high for creating outstanding albums continuously. I like the quality of his guitar play and his technique is very good I think. But the older albums were more appealing to me.

But whenever he is playing on stage in Germany again I will definitely try to see him live again. Until that I will enjoy his earlier releases more than the recent ones.

I was more thinking about his playing/sound than the song-writing tbh. As with most artists an album generally has two or three killers and seven or eight fillers :grinning:


What I liked most in the last years was the re-recording of his first album - A New Day (now), which says a lot. I have to agree that his music always entertains me more because of his guitar play and skills and not so much because of his songwriting. My favourite albums so far are “Black Rock”, “Dust Bowl”, and of course “Sloe Gin”.

It may be that Anton Figg is part of the problem because he is very steady and capable but I don’t feel he has much ‘swing’ in his drumming…

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I have not - yet - seen JB live - but would certainly hope to, at some point. Subject to the cost of tickets… :thinking:

I can relate to some of the comments above. Too many albums, too frequently… Too many songs which are a bit… so, so…? Technically very good - playing very good - bit something not quite…?

Sloe Gin on the other hand… :speak_no_evil:

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I better deleted that, @Svetty. That was not fair and my English skills are certainly too bad for describing it in an adequate way. My apologies …

I like bluesy rock music so he is an artist I like.

However, as said above, he is technically a brilliant player, but is often soulless and his playing lacks emotion imho. It can all sound mechanical.

I spend much more time listening to John Mayer who does move me. Paul Kossoff was quite a basic player really but can make you cry just by making one note have so much expression. I think that is a gift. I think there is a difference between great players and great musicians.


Thanks! Never heard about him. Any suggestion on an album to start with?

He was in Free, and a solo album or so, the compilations Koss and Blue Soul are good starting points. You almost certainly will have heard his playing at some point.

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Free. Fire and Water.
Free Live.
Good places to start.


His work with Beth Hart is his best stuff in my view - a more soulful rocky edge. The “Live in Amsterdam” album is really good - highlights being “I’d rather go blind” (the studio version of that is even better in my view) and “Nutbush City Limits” …Beth Hart has a set of lungs, I can tell you!

If he toured with her again - I’d go see that - solo……well, not so much….

I’m with you though - there have been a few super skilled “blues” guitarists over the years, that I think have never quite gelled as complete artists… I could name Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jeff Healey at this point…

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Similar to other posts, I preferred his earlier style and playing. The band was best when Bogie Bowles was on the kit and Carmine Rojas on bass. Went downhill when he fired those two.
I also agree, I think he runs out of ideas as his output is too much.
Didn’t like his Black Country Communion era either.
Mountain Time Live at the Albert Hall is still in my top five live tunes.

IIRC Bogie decided to move on rather than being fired?

I bow to your more accurate knowledge Svetty, I know BB had problems that needed time to heal, I thought JB was behind the split.Apologies.
Still preferred his drumming to Anton or Tal.

I’m aware of this! …I just don’t get him…musicianship over music… #ShootMeNow

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I’ve been a fan of Joe’s for years, but at the time of Royal Tea’s release, I posted here that I felt he seemed to have run out of ideas, and everything had become a bit formulaic.

He seems permanently to be on “loud” setting these days, and there doesn’t seem to be much evidence of the light and shade of the past.

Shame really, but his older back catalogue still contains some superlative blues rock, especially the live albums.