Joe Bonamassa - "Guitar Man"
Blues rock fans know what they like and they sure do like Joe Bonamassa; sold out concerts, legendary sea cruises and 24 #1 albums on the Billboard Blues chart prove it. Now, for those who want to know a little bit about what makes the guitarist tick, comes the new documentary film "Guitar Man." The film fills in the blanks on all the major milestones in Joe's career and includes segments on being mentored by BB King, something that got started in earnest when Bonamassa, at the tender age of 13, opened a show for the blues titan. With being laser-focused on his guitar playing, Bonamassa did not sing early in his career. An especially enlightening segment documents how Joe developed his singing style after overcoming thoughts of not being good enough. Joe narrates the film throughout and he often demonstrates a candor rarely found in artists of his caliber; another segment that shows this is the chronicling of how he worked so hard to put together his show at London's Royal Albert Hall in 2000, an event that would have wiped Joe's company out financially had it somehow been a bust (the concert was a phenomenal success.) Some viewers may be unaware of the two "super groups" that Joe was a member of but both get coverage here; Bloodline was a mid-'90s outfit that included rock scions Berry Oakley, Jr. (son of Allman Brothers Band founding member Berry Oakley), Erin Davis (son of Miles Davis) and Waylon Krieger, son of Robbie Krieger of the Doors while Black Country Communion was a later band featuring Glen Hughes of Deep Purple and Black Sabbath fame, Jason Bonham, the son of legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, and well-traveled keys man Derek Shirinian (Dream Theater.) There's footage of Bonamassa cruising the Mississippi Delta, home of the blues, including a visit to the infamous "crossroads," the spot where Robert Johnson supposedly made his deal with the devil. Viewers will hear commentary from many of the artists mentioned above as well as from Bonamassa's longtime producer Kevin Shirley, see footage of the band laying down tracks with Shirley in Santorini, Greece, and hear a bit about what Bonamassa is doing with his Keeping the Blues Alive organization. Oh yeah, about 50 songs are seen and heard here, although mostly not in their entirety. Informative and entertaining all the way through, this documentary film is not unlike one of Joe's concerts in that when it's over about all that can be said is "Wow!"
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