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ANOTHER Joe Bonamassa thread - This one about him giving back

wrxplayer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,595
I just "stopped by" a Bonamassa thread where the subject is the commercialization of Joe Bonamassa and started to post this post below. But knowing that few would read post #364 I thought I share this topic in a new discussion.

Joe is an aggressive self-promoter. I know of nobody that does what he does in blues or rock music while simultaneously promoting his music, wares, etc.

He's also one of the hardest working guys in music. I wouldn't be surprised if he played over 800 gigs in the last three years. That's a lot of playing.

Put it all together and you have a guy who built a name and a brand for himself in a genre (blues) that had been dead since 1990 (when SRV died). Frankly it wasn't terribly alive even with SRV carrying the torch.

Joe and I met about 6 1/2 years ago. He came to my local high school at my request to do an assembly. FOR FREE. He even turned down my offer to pick him up and drop him off and instead took a cab 30 minutes each way on his nickel. Very cool thing (pic below). I suspect he doesn't have much time for such endeavors anymore, but I know of few who did make time for these kinds of activities when they were up and coming musicians trying to make their type of music (blues) popular once again. Here's a story from 2006 on his Blues in the Schools programs. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5583386

Here's another on Joe's charitable organization devoted to keeping blues alive. See https://keepingthebluesalive.org/

I wholly understand negativity surrounding commercialization of one's art. But when I get passed the "he's too commercial" impulse, I realize that he's a professional musician simply trying to earn money to support himself and perhaps others. It's hard for me to find fault in that.

And when I look at what Joe's done and continues to do for blues music in general, I see a gifted musician giving back, which doesn't happen too often these days.

Here's Joe doing one of his assemblies in 2010, the year he did one at my school (interstingly using the same Alvarez I play).


Here's him doing one in Denmark. Upload date is 2016. Not sure when it was recorded.
 

Tomm Williams

Member
Messages
964
Very cool. I totally don't get the dislike that one sometimes sees toward him......
I think some of it comes from him simply acting like a normal guy and not being "mysterious". Self promotion aside, he doesn't seem to have a problem showing he's human with weaknesses and people (for some reason) jump on him.
He's the least "hero-like" hero I can think of. I'd be interested to see of all the people that rip him, how many can come even close to going toe-to-toe in a guitar battle.
 

2HBStrat

Senior Member
Messages
41,223
I think some of it comes from him simply acting like a normal guy and not being "mysterious". Self promotion aside, he doesn't seem to have a problem showing he's human with weaknesses and people (for some reason) jump on him.
He's the least "hero-like" hero I can think of. I'd be interested to see of all the people that rip him, how many can come even close to going toe-to-toe in a guitar battle.
If I was around him I wouldn't even let him know that I even knew what a guitar WAS......I would tell him I'm a tambourine player.....
 

Dawg76

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,430
I think some of it comes from him simply acting like a normal guy and not being "mysterious". Self promotion aside, he doesn't seem to have a problem showing he's human with weaknesses and people (for some reason) jump on him.
He's the least "hero-like" hero I can think of.
Indeed.
I met Joe at a meet&greet in May2014. Told him I had the good fortune to be at his RAH show the prior year (I have family in London, etc.) First thing out of his mouth was "Yeah we had a lot of great guitars that night."(referring to the Green/Moore LP and Rory's Strat). Not something like 'yeah I played pretty badass didn't I?' It was about the GEAR and the MUSIC. After shaking hands, I wished him continued success. He deserves it.

OP, thanks for posting.
 
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Sub City

Member
Messages
1,459
I've done business with Joe and he's a great guy; well-deserved success with a smart marketing plan. He's also a gear head for vintage guitars and amps, and still has the same enthusiasm about searching for gear like he did as a kid........helping to keep the vintage spirit alive!
 

BigAl

Member
Messages
1,123
Thanks for sharing and it is always cool to hear about all the great things that famous folks do to give back (with no fanfare and no expectation of promotion).
 

Arvidsson

Member
Messages
98
Well i dont know Joe but seen a whole bunch of interviews etc and he seems to be a real good guy.

I dont think thats the question really, but i dont think music should be about who works the hardest, who is the friendliest, who knows the most about gear etc.

There are acts in the "roots" music scene that tour as much and that give to charity or do free shows.

Again not to take anything away from Joe and his acomplishments.

but it's kinds funny that as soon as anybody comes with some critisim about his marketing being a "little" over the top and cheesy people start coming with "well he'd got a smart business going" shouldnt it be about the music?

I realize one has to make a living but there is a space between 20 million and bar gigs...
 

Arvidsson

Member
Messages
98
Most probably none. Good musicians usually respect other good musicians.
Of course there should be respect no matter if taste in music differs, i think there need to be more respect in general cause we all love music in different ways.

But guitar battles? Is it music or nintendo?

If you can play as fast or technical as joe your'e allowed to have an opinion? A Good musician is very realtive, is it the guy who kills it with 4 notes or the one who shreds the living hell out of it? Totally subjective...
 
M

Member 132475

Listening to him play those acoustic pieces in the clips above, made my jaw drop. I don't think I can take one more blues rawk solo from him, but that was amazing. His skills on the guitar are just mindblowing. He could easily play stuff with Chris Thile for instance, his playing is that fluid and clean. Or trade hot licks with the best of Nashville's chicken pickers. I respect the guy for capitalizing on his chosen path, though it would be so interesting and refreshing to hear him in other settings. The guy LIVES and BREATHES guitar, 24/7, and has done so since he was a kid, so I am sure he could adapt to almost any style if he wanted to.
 

Don P.

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,524
I don't get the hate either. I'm not a huge fan, like some stuff and dislike some. Actually, I prefer his singing over his guitar playing. Anyway, to me he has always come across as a stand up guy who one could easily sit down and have a beer and a good conversation with.
 

DrumBob

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
18,755
He used to be, but thanks to the morons here that have to sling some vile **** at him in every thread, that was short-lived.
That's correct. He pulled out due to a small group of a-holes on this board who flamed him. I do know he still lurks here and knows what people say. I'd wager that absolutely none of those "critics" could stand up to Joe on guitar.

I said it earlier, you have to be careful what you say about Joe here, it seems. If you go on too much about his talent, his music and his business smarts, some fool with an attitude will say you're whining.
 
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