Dust Bowl


Nick's Picks: 04 “Meaning of the Blues”, 02 “Dust Bowl”, 07 “The Last Matador of Bayonne” Review by Nick Nickelson of Dust Bowl by Joe Bonamassa Joe who? “Qne of the greatest living blues guitarists you've never heard of” will be playing DeVos Performance Hall the day before this album is released to the public. Billboard Magazine ranked him as #1 Blues Artist of 2010 (listen to “The Last Matador of Bayonne” for a sample), William Morris Agency represents him, and he is the Music News Correspondent for Channel One (the largest in-school TV News Network). I think all that super-talented obscurity has turned the corner. Having heard this album for about six hours, now, I am eager to catch the live show. For those of you who don't go to his concert on March 21st, you will be missing some of the hottest blues licks this side of Stevie Ray Vaughan, whose influence can be noted on “You Better Watch Yourself” (also on a cover of John Hiatt's “Tennessee Plates”). The influence of Eric Clapton is all over this album, too, but most notably a cover of Paul Rodgers' “Heartbreaker”, and also “Sweet Rowena”; however, you can't help but notice the velvety voice of the author, Vince Gill, on this cut (as well as his unique guitar stylings). Over half these songs on this cd were written by Joe Bonamassa, so the guy is not only a great axeman, he is a great songwriter. He has stated that the blues he writes about are not your typical topics (no baby leavin', etc.), but they are about experiences in his life. I'm not sure where he encountered the “Dust Bowl” but it must have been a mind-blowing experience – at least his playing and the arrangement are. Another original song is “Slow Train”, which emulates the movement of a train. It starts off slow, then builds in speed and volume to some truly inspired and unbelievably faster than a speeding train guitar playing. Again, the arrangement of this song is just amazing. “Black Lung Heartache” is another great (IMHO) song, that demonstrates the versatility of this amazing singer/songwriter. The transition from bluegrass to hard rock and back to bluegrass is just incredible! If you don't own any of his cds, this is the one to buy! And don't miss the concert!! Just my two nickels,. --------Nick

ARTIST BIO Early life Bonamassa was born and raised in Utica, New York to parents that owned and ran a guitar shop. As a fourth-generation musician, he recalls knowing he wanted to be a musician as early as age four. With a great-grandfather and grandfather who both played trumpet, and a father who plays guitar, Bonamassa credits his parents in fostering an appreciation of music in his life as early as he can remember. When he was a young child, he would listen to his parents' large record collection. He recalls at age 7, sitting with his parents on Saturdays and listening to Guitar Slim, Bonnie Raitt, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, Eric Clapton, and Jethro Tull. Thus, he sees his music as an amalgam of all the various rock and blues he heard as a child. He received his first guitar from his father at the age of 4, and by age 7 he was playing Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix tunes note for note. At the age of 11, during a short period of being mentored by Danny Gatton, he learned such styles as country and jazz as well as heavy rock. During this time with Gatton, Bonamassa sat in with Gatton's band whenever they played in New York. He first opened for B. B. King at 12 years of age. After first hearing him play, King said, “This kid's potential is unbelievable. He hasn't even begun to scratch the surface. He's one of a kind.” At 14, he was invited to attend a Fender guitar event; during that trip to the West Coas he met Berry Oakley, Jr. Bonamassa and Berry founded the group Bloodline with Miles Davis' son Erin and Robby Krieger's son Waylon. They released one album which produced two chart singles — "Stone Cold Hearted", and "Dixie Peach." He has since played with other music greats including Buddy Guy, Foreigner, Robert Cray, Stephen Stills, Joe Cocker, Gregg Allman Steve Winwood, Paul Jones, Ted Nugent, Warren Haynes, Eric Clapton, and Derek Trucks.

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.