Bonamassa… ¡Buenisimo!

By Paul Rigg

“You can say a lot of things about me but you can’t say I don’t take risks” says Joe Bonamassa (8 May 1977; New York) in the trailer for his documentary Guitar Man, which is set for worldwide release by Paramount Home Entertainment on 8 December 2020.   

Having started playing guitar at the age of four, one particularly famous risk the guitar prodigy took was saying ‘yes’ to opening for BB King when he was just 12 years old.


The man who has had more number 1’s than any blues artist in history said to himself when he was growing up: “I don’t want a real job; I want to be guitar player and play the Royal Albert Hall.” Fast forward and Smokin’ Joe not only achieved that ambition but he did it in style, by playing on that hallowed stage with Eric Clapton; a star who plays a key role in this documentary. 

Apart from being a stellar guitarist, Bonamassa has also been committed to co-working with artists such as Buddy Guy, Joe Satriani, Gregg Allman, and Derek Trucks. In fact, Youtube is replete with his collaborations with top acts like Jethro Tull, Beth Hart, Billy Gibbons, Walter Trout, and Samantha Fish… the list goes on and on. 


The bluesman seems to be continually releasing both live and studio albums, which range across soul, the blues, funk, heavy rock, finger picking, southern rock, and even classical; and despite such high output they are frequently critical and commercial successes.   

Bonamassa is also a philanthropist, having established the Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation and taken a lead role in the Blues in the Schools programme, which helps spark schoolchildren’s imagination about the history of music. Just this year, since the start of the pandemic, he has raised over 375,000 dollars to help support musicians who have found themselves out of work.


And if you think Bonamassa can’t possibly be doing all this work and having a good time take a look at the ">video shot in Abbey Road recording studios for his latest chart-topping album Royal Tea
 and see him in photos strolling across the zebra-crossing made famous by the Beatles; this is a man who knows how to enjoy himself.

The extraordinary story of this legendary blues artist promises to feature candid interviews, intimate ‘behind the scenes’ shots and, of course, his extraordinary guitar playing. After a challenging year; it sounds like an early christmas present… and one not to miss.  

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