Joe Bonnamassa: "That’s where the Black Keys and Jack White have succeeded and I’ve f

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tiktok

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Londonbus

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But the main difference is that both those bands, particularly Jack white, have a back catalogue of great songwriting
You beat me to saying it.

Great songwriting is always going to be worth more in the grand scheme of things than technical ability or trying to master a genre within some sort of preexisting parameters.

No disrespect to Joe B, but to me he's like this cat in Seattle who is pretty well known for his show impersonating Jimi Hendrix. I mean, this guy is jaw dropping convincing and a monster player. GREAT show, but every time I see him I say to myself "Wow, I wonder what it would be like if he was doing his own thing."
 

eclecto-acoustic

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Maybe I'm just not as learned as some of you folks, but I see him branching off and doing his own thing a lot now. Problem is, a lot of his devoted fans who loved what he WAS doing might not dig what he IS doing.

Pretty risky business when you consider how much work he has put into making his career happen.
 

neoprimitive

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Joe has the skills.. but jack white is quirky and makes cool funky wierd fun songs.. black keys bore me personally but I appreciate what they do.
no offense to jb but its not appealing to people who are younger and want to to hear music to party to. there is a line between incredible skills and just plain fun, and joe and jack are on opposite sides of that line.
 

Ferret

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No disrespect to Joe B, but to me he's like this cat in Seattle who is pretty well known for his show impersonating Jimi Hendrix. I mean, this guy is jaw dropping convincing and a monster player. GREAT show, but every time I see him I say to myself "Wow, I wonder what it would be like if he was doing his own thing."
You know, his own thing might not be very interesting. He's got all that technique to use, sure, but if he hasn't got the inspiration .... As it happens, he's feeding off Hendrix's inspiration. Why would he do this if he had his own thing going at even half this level? I've had friends in highly rated and paid tribute bands who do this or that guy to perfection who really didn't have their own thing to say at all. From their earliest playing moments, they tried to copy perfectly someone who they greatly admired. Playing original music was OK when they had the chance, but someone else had to have the ideas. Some folks are just like that. Technically, it doesn't diminish them as musicians.
 

rob13v

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I dunno. I see it as , "Joe's got his thing (SRV, Clapton, EJ-derived) & JW & the Black Keys are doing their own thing (albeit similar), kinda like back in the day when your could hear Kimbrough (sp?) or you could hear BB King. Maybe some folks' taste skews towards Joe's more "polished" sound & others like a more "raw" approach. No harm, no foul.
 

Seegs

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When I first saw JB about 5 years ago he had Mark Epstein on bass and Boogie Bowles sp? on drums and was doing Blues based rock with a Giggilotti tele and 4 amps and playing to a virtually empty club with about 80 guitar players and their unfortunate and bored girlfriends in attendance...

A few years later he had a different backing band with keys and was playing LPs with a rockier emphasis...the club was packed to the rafters with about 800-1000 people which was SRO...

Last time I saw him he sold out a small arena with 2500 people and it was SRO...he had the same band with a different drummer and was rocking out...

I preferred the first concert by a long shot and thought his playing was more energetic and a heck of a lot more interesting and on the edge but I'm sure the last two concerts were better for his wallet...

With the new rockier direction I have passed on attending his more recent concerts...no real surprises there...

My favourite JB era was with Eric Czar on bass...I think he challenged Joe and he was on fire in those days...something his current band/direction hasn't brought out in him...

I think the guy can do anything he wants on the instrument and seems to be a prisoner of his own chops in that in that I can't really identify what his own thing is and find that he usually ends up resorting to a tried and true bag of tricks rather that going out on a limb and taking risks...

My fave part of his shows has always been the acoustic part...
 
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Bluesful

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I don't know what others think but for me I don't think JB would work on the same scale as JW or BK. There's a certain romance to his music laying somewhat 'underground' which I think would be lost on a larger scale. That said there has certainly been an evolution in his music/career. As an example I saw JB about a month ago which was my second time seeing him - the first being 2 years earlier. In that 2 years the crowd had grown to include more than what looked like a bunch of guitar players the first time round. It was certainly a wider breadth of demographics the second time around - however as he states himself there was a clear lack of 'hip' young people.
 

frdagaa

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If you haven't done it already, you should read the linked article. Excellent, I thought, and provides a lot of insight into the issues mentioned here.
 

FlyingVBlues

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JB simply isn’t going to appeal to younger people who are into Rap, Hip-Hop, Electronic Dance Music and Neo-Soul. He’s never going to show up on the Billboard Hot 100. Joe’s newest record, Different Shades of Blue, features all original material with the exception of Hendrix’s Hey Baby. He worked with Jonathan Cain, who is the keys player in Journey, on writing all of the new songs on the album. The rhythm section on the record is very tight, and he uses horns on a lot of tracks. Most of the songs have a good groove and lots of good hooks. Joe’s playing is a little more restrained than on his previous records. He has lots of chops, but he is using them in a more musical way. The takeaway I get from this latest record is that Joe is trying to expand musically, with a lot more of his focus on songwriting and arrangements.
 
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ZeyerGTR

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He doesnt have the hair...

Honest statement from him, but I guess I'm "parent age" because I'll take Joe all day. Some great writing on his newest album, btw. He collaborated with some Nashville writers and it shows.
 

andybaylor

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I would recommend songwriting/production sessions with younger musicians.

A cross between Jack White and John Hammond.

Let's start with prepared drums! Take that vintage Tube Screamer....and put it in the snare drum.


FWIW-He might be too old to sell to "the kids", but it never hurts to try new stuff. For a couple of hours at least. It's fun!!!
 

Defendant

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He doesnt have the hair...
I'd say he's pretty much neck and neck with Auerbach from the Black Keys when it comes to comb-over-ness.

I mentioned that quote in the last JB thread and I think it's just him being honest and real. He got stuck with a crowd of guitar-playing men of around 40 and up, most of whom were originally into rock.

There's no way on earth he could reverse-engineer his career to appeal to the Black Keys or White Stripes audience. There's just so much difference in sensibility. it's not like he could put on a collar-less leather jacket on and land Coachella.
 

Defendant

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I would recommend songwriting/production sessions with younger musicians.

A cross between Jack White and John Hammond.

Let's start with prepared drums! Take that vintage Tube Screamer....and put it in the snare drum.


FWIW-He might be too old to sell to "the kids", but it never hurts to try new stuff. For a couple of hours at least. It's fun!!!
Funnily enough Dan Auerbach did a great job of doing that with Dr John, producing his record and banning him from playing piano. Made him play cool old organs instead.

Maybe Auerbach is the guy for Bonamassa? He could produce and ban him from playing guitar solos perhaps. Be a bit weird coming from a guy his own age, though.

This does raise an interesting point: JB and his crew credit Kevin Shirley as being a big part of his success in recent years. At the same time, going with such an 80s producer has definitely helped lock him into the dad crowd. Maybe different producers early on may have helped him stay interesting to a broader audience.
 

suckamc

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I have a lot of time for Joe...

But the main difference is that both those bands, particularly Jack white, have a back catalogue of great songwriting
...which the hardcore blues crowd has never cared much about.
 

Jon Silberman

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Do I understand Joe correctly? I've got a kid in college, I listen to Joe, and I should feel sorry for him? Now I've heard everything!
 

Defendant

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...which the hardcore blues crowd has never cared much about.

...and the hardcore blues crowd like JB?

-most serious blues lovers I know consider him to be not their cup of tea at all.

To me his audience is mostly converted rock players around 40-50 years old. People who liked Gary Moore when he went blues. Often players themselves, and ones that would like to play straight ahead blues but also burn some fast stuff as well without getting too weird or crazy or unorthodox. The kind of 'blues fan' that's happy with early Eric but uncomfortable around Hound Dog Taylor.
 
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