Live Gig Photos

Joe Bonamassa Live at The Ryman, Nashville, Tennessee on July 22nd, 2019

 

All Photos: Julius Richardson

Words: Shadow Editor

 

 

We all know the Carpenters song “Rainy Days and Mondays” right? Yes, this past Monday Nashville was wet and muggy, lovely setting for a Monday Blues Rock concert at the famous and historic landmark — The Ryman Auditorium. But don’t worry we don’t let Rainy Days and Mondays get us down, not at MGM, we truck forward and are pumped to check out a sold-out Joe Bonamassa performance as he opens his first USA date back from a long leg of touring in Europe.

The drive to Nashville for these shows is always a bit of a drag, but again we don’t let that bring us down, we are very fortunate to be able to get accredited for this one, as allocation was extremely tight and we were told we got the last two tickets in the house. Thanks, CC for setting this up, was a long time in the making.

Right after we get inside the venue, we are fortunate to find the in house photographer for the Ryman, and he was nice enough to give us tips on lighting, rules, etc, but also a nice tidbit as he told us that Joe lives around there and just walked to the venue with his guitars in hand, pretty cool guy huh?. The tips were very much appreciated, my man. Nice to meet you.

This classy venue is very strict on press and fans, security is extremely mindful of their surroundings at all times pretty regularly directing overzealous fans out from the rails at different levels to take video and photos.

As we head int our seats the joint gets filled pretty quickly, and in no time is 8 PM and Bonamassa wastes no time as he rips right into Muddy Waters “Tiger In The Tank”. The lighting is fantastic and the band sounds crystal clear. Quality over quantity is displayed in full prowess here this evening. The cool and driving sound of “Evil Mama” from Joe’s recent record “Redemption” plays nicely tot he crowd, nice groove on this tune and the chorus is super. Another track off the new album “King Bee Shake Down” has a nice swing type jive to it, and is a nice change of pace.

Joe was told when he was young and first got into the scene if you wanted to be a blues guy, you need to be able to play and sing, it’s fair to say Bonamassa compliments his terrific and soulful guitar playing with his vocals. No, he’s not a one-man show either as his band complements him very well just the same, with legends like Reese Wynans, and Michael Rhodes who has played with some iconic artists in his long storied career. This night regular drummer Anton Fig would be on assignment, but long-time drummer and Tennessee native Greg Morrow steps to the plate, another distinguished character who does a fine job on this Monday night.

Another tune that stands out for me is “Self Inflicted Wounds” again off the new album, the slow grinding groove paves the way to a grandiose solo that only Joe can pull off, nicely done on this one. For fans of JB, you know he has been in a lot of different projects through his career, and one that stands out for me is the collaboration with Beth Hart, this night we hear one of those songs from their album “Don’t Explain” via “Well Well”. It’s also nice to hear some Zeppelin during the set with a very well done cover of “Tea For One” and “I Can’t Quit You Baby”, one of the highlights of the evening. The same goes for “Last Kiss” with its blues backbone staging front and center.

As quickly as the night started, it came to end on a triumphant return to this Nashville iconic venue. Joe came out for the encore pouring his skill and soul into “Woke Up Dreaming” the acoustic version, and it was fantastic. You know when you see the sweat pouring down the artists face? Yea he’s going to work. We end the night with the Joe B staple “Ballad of John Henry”, giving this sold-out night a bang for their buck.

Tonight we witnessed one of the greatest guitar players of our generation, and many will attest to his skill set, it was a privilege and an honor to witness a perfect set with varied material to produce and distinguished his show from others in the pack. Bonamassa is a touring road warrior he tours all the time, if you get a chance to check him out, don’t hesitate just do it even if rainy days and Mondays try to get you down, for a couple of hours of your day you will forget all those things and just enjoy quality Rock music.

 

www.jbonamassa.com

 

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