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I don't like Joe Bonamassa, am I the only one?

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by little_wing142, Jun 28, 2010.

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  1. ekul785

    ekul785 Senior Stratmaster

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    I love his music (I only have two albums) he's a fantastic guitar IMO, and very tasteful.

    It's odd, because people say he rips off EJ, and I can sort of see it, but I'm not into EJ at all. There's just something about his music that I can't get into.
     
  2. guitarman1960

    guitarman1960 New Member!

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    That's exactly it! To play the blues, you have to 'live it', not learn it note for note. JB is like some schoolkid who sat down and learned it and now has made a career of it. More like a blues rock tribute band really, only on a bigger level.
    That in my book is not being an artist. An artist is someone who has something to say, to express, and has to communicate that through their music. It's just nowhere near enough when all you are communicating is that you've practised the guitar a lot.
    Many if not all of the great artists, in blues, or whatever have lived through so many hard times, they have a very deep story to tell, and that feeling comes out through their music, you can feel it, that's what makes it moving, exciting, inspirational. That battle with inner demons creates the mojo, the edge. Robert Johnson, John Lee Hooker, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray, Johnny Winter, Rory Gallagher, and Jimmy Page in a more rock way, they all have that edge, that darkness.
    Eric Johnson on the other hand is a great player, no doubt, but it's all just so nicey nicey, sanitised and wholesome, you can tell he's such a sweet and gentle guy just by looking at him, but his music always lacks that edge, that hurt, that anger, that fire. Maybe he needs to become a penniless alcoholic and get in touch with his dark side, LOL (Only joking people, but you know what I'm saying)
     
  3. guitarvegas

    guitarvegas Senior Stratmaster

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    Right! You're with me on this...good! Glad you see it the same way I do. To me it just makes sense and is the most truth I can speak about music and what and why it means what it does to me.
     
  4. Goodkat

    Goodkat The One Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Not bad at all! ;)
     
  5. Bender strat

    Bender strat Strat-Talker

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    I saw joe at a small venue in Jacksonville fl. And my impression was, that he is a really talented performer, but totally derivative. I didnt hear a single original phase all night. He reminded me of when I saw derrick trucks when he was 15. All I could think was.. "When this guy finds his own voice... He's gonna be amazing!" Derrick did. But he hasn't. Yet....
     
  6. The Shedder

    The Shedder Senior Stratmaster

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    I like JB, not a huge fan, but I like him. BCC stuff aint bad either.
    No doubt, he is a great guitarist.
    Far better than me.
    He also earns a living from it, so gets my vote there.

    He has also released a lot of material, solo, duets or BCC, so he is a working guitarist.

    I dont buy all this bs "he has to live the blues in order to play it"
    That is crap imo!
    Sorry guys, blues still has to be learned!!!
    Sure it was a very YOUNG Eric Clapton that played the Blues in the mid '60's.... Hardly had the "life experience of living the blues" at that age!
    And guess what? They called him GOD!

    Exactly what is it that is different between all blues players?
    How come the new generation of "blues" players get hammered on this forum everyday?

    We forget that it is music at the end of the day, and us humans are unique, thus will continue to develop and play music differently.

    Life would be quite boring imo if every new blues guitarist that came along was a carbon copy clone of BB King or Robert Johnson etc.

    These player bashing threads are getting tiresome...
     
  7. guitarvegas

    guitarvegas Senior Stratmaster

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    Are you kidding me man? Eric Clapton went through Hell and back and the blues and the good people around him is what pulled him though it! He was one of the worst junkies in the spotlight in those years. His life was an awful mess, and because of his dark world he was living in and ability to connect with a guitar he came through. Although I don't really care for his playing all that much, but that is besides the point.
     
  8. inkedintville

    inkedintville Senior Stratmaster

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    Be careful bashing the bashers. Others have found themselves in trouble for it.
     
  9. inkedintville

    inkedintville Senior Stratmaster

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    Everyone in some shape or form has been through hell in back in their lives. Just because it's not expressed in a traditional blues method doesn't mean it isn't coming from the heart.
     
  10. The Shedder

    The Shedder Senior Stratmaster

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    I am on about the Beano period, when he was in his early '20's
     
  11. Holoflash

    Holoflash Strat-O-Master

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    BB King once said SRV couldn't play the blues "cause he never lived it". Well we all know the rest of that story... The hillbillys were actually the first people to play blues type music but the blacks seem to get the credit for inventing it, go figure.
     
  12. Giant

    Giant Senior Stratmaster

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    As far as I know it started with old African religious songs that evolved during slavery.
    Seems to me that "the blacks" did start it.
     
  13. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I thought I was the only one! The OP has got it right, IMHO. I saw Bonnamassa a couple of years ago at Shepherds Bush Empire, a nice small old theatre. I went because I read that he was this hotshot young blues guitarist, but all I got was a re-hash of 60s Clapton licks, tone, etc. And I'm not much into that.

    I later read an interview, & he said that he was surprised when he first came to England to find so many guitarists playing Strats through Fender amps. To him the "English" sound is a LP through a Marshall, but to those of us who saw Jimmie Vaughan playing over here with The Fabulous Thunderbirds from 1980 onwards, that was THE sound. So we were trying to sound like we're from Austin, while Bonnamassa tries to sound like he's from a posh part of Surrey!

    Funny old world isn't it?

    There's no doubt he's a good guitarist, but his influences are very different to mine, so he wants to make noises I don't want to make. And who wants to be lugging a Les Paul around all the time? Not me....
     
  14. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I never heard of B.B. saying anything like that - where did you read that? Sound most unlike B.B. King, whose motto in life (from his mother) is "if you can't say something nice about somebody, don't say anything at all".

    And lets not try to re-write history! "The blacks" (as you call them) came up with blues, the whites came up with country. When the two art forms were mixed up by folk like Chuck Berry & Elvis Presley around 1955, we got rock & roll. That's generally accepted to be what happened. Anyone who wants to claim that this isn't true will need to come up with some really good evidence to back up their claim.

    I won't hold my breath!
     
  15. ledet

    ledet Strat-O-Master

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    I don't really like him either. Not very interesting playing to me.

    Derek Trucks, on the other hand...
     
  16. jeremy blaze

    jeremy blaze Senior Stratmaster

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    Enough peoe seem to like him, enough that allows him to make a living at it.
    The most successful musicians write music for the people.
    The musicians that make music that other musicians appreciate or admire often are far from commercially sucessful.

    Anyone that can make music for a living is doing something right.

    Will everyone like it? Of course not, if that was the case the world would be full of clones. We all would have the same guitar, amp, etc....

    I'm sure many people here would not like some of the other members music.
     
  17. guitarvegas

    guitarvegas Senior Stratmaster

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    Anyone that can make music for a living is doing something right.

    This is not neccessarily true. Sometimes (these days) people who are in it for commercial reasons alone, just to make the buck are compromising their own talent to become mainstream. This is not good and it ultimitely becomes the backtrack to next generations. So if the industry keeps dishing out crap to the young people of tomorrow they will not have a chance to become great themselves. Hey, we are only as good as our influences, and if the industry iss pushing bad trendy music out the door and into our ipods then we are in trouble. The best music in this world is not played on the radio. You need to be a musical archaeologist these days to uncover, dust off and bring into your home what is actually "good". So I do not agree with your statement.
     
  18. mw13068

    mw13068 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Anyone that can make music for a living is doing something right.

    I think that making any music; even elevator music is one of the better things that humans can make, considering that there are so many ways people can behave destructively or negatively.

    More power to Mr. Bonamassa and every person who creates something that they love.
     
  19. JohnnyL

    JohnnyL Strat-O-Master

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  20. Naradajim

    Naradajim Senior Stratmaster

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    I agree. Hard to believe that B.B. King, who famously said that Peter Green had the sweetest tone he'd ever heard, and was the only guitarist to give him chills, would turn around and say that a drug ravaged guy from Texas, who had been at times virtually homeless, borrowing guitars to play gigs, had lived too well and therefore couldn't play the blues.

    BTW, Bonamassa's sharkskin suits, shades and hats harken back to the old blues guys. It's partly schtick, sure, but it makes more sense than polo shirts with popped collars.

    Most of the people here are just parroting things they've read or haven't ever listened to his stuff from the last three years. He's found his own way, and the new stuff is great, IMO. At least he doesn't try to borrow Dave Matthews' vocal style and inflict it on the blues.

    I've never, ever heard a blues player who wasn't almost entirely derivative, until they matriculated onward and upward. I've tried to hate Bonamassa for all the reasons listed above. I've seen a lot of the old blues guys, the Kings and Collinses, going to shows every chance I got in the seventies and eighties.

    Bonamassa is flat good, and could slide into any band situation anytime for a jam without becoming a distraction. It is what he does. As far as him being some pop blues player, not one person I know, other than guitar players and blues and jazz dudes around town, have ever even heard of him. But he keeps on playing, and he's doing okay.

    I wish I could have just one week of being able to play as fluidly as he does.

    Journeyman Noodler
     
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