A SKEWED VIEW: Bonamassa brings hot licks back to CNY

Joe Bonamassa, born in New Hartford, is headlining the Landmark Theatre on Thursday, May 17.

Joe Bonamassa, born in New Hartford, is headlining the Landmark Theatre on Thursday, May 17. Courtesy of Joe Bonamassa

— “I call it Lucky No. 13,” Bonamassa said.

Whitford, speaking from Las Vegas, said the album has a rugged feel, harkening back to the days when blues rock was just growing popular.

“This is definitely more influenced by the stuff the guys and musicians in this room love, early ‘60s English and American rock and blues,” he said. “I guess we’ll never get that out of our system and it’s fun to come in here and find out own path down that highway.”

Bonamassa, by the time he was 10 years old, had drawn praise from legendary axe man B.B. King, who said Bonamassa was going to grow into one of the best ever. Over the next two years, he had opened for Buddy Guy, Stephen Stills and Gregg Allman, among a slew of other notables.

That’s quite a resume for a 12-year-old to possess.

“I studied from the likes of Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck,” Bonamassa said. “Now here I am. I’ve made a name for myself by playing British-style blues. I’m more popular in England than I am here, but I think it’s evening out now.”

At a show in England a few years back, Bonamassa got the chance to play with Clapton, as Slowhand -- that’s Clapton’s nickname -- emerged for a take on “Further On Up The Road,” which he said was the first song he learned to play. He and Clapton traded licks for a jam that could satiate even the biggest of blues fans. On a side note, it was the first time I had ever heard Bonamassa’s playing, and I was completely blown away. In my opinion, he, Phish’s Trey Anastasio and the Allman Brothers Band’s Derek Trucks are the three greatest living guitarists today.

Asked to comment on the experience, Bonamassa said he didn’t get nervous, but rather he was inspired to play his best.

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