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Interview: Joe Bonamassa

Jun 11, 2012 at 8:00 AM | Featured Artists | By Stephen Humphries
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During a recent show at Los Angeles’ Saban Theatre, Joe Bonamassa doesn’t say a word to the crowd for the first 40 minutes. Up until then, the blues-rock guitarist has let his fingers do all the talking. Those 10 digits have already delivered rousing oratorical solos during the cowboy-western blues of “Dust Bowl,” howled a stinging monologue during the middle of “Last Kiss,” and whispered an anguished tale of woe during a cover version of Gary Moore’s “Midnight Blues.”  When the guitarist finally steps to the microphone to address his adopted hometown of Los Angeles, the audience goes wild.

Dressed in a suit so crisp it could have been minted by the US Treasury, the guitarist from Utica, N.Y., recalls the night he played the nearby Mint club almost a decade ago.

“Don’t clap —you weren’t there,” quips Bonamassa, peering over his impenetrable sunglasses. “There were only four drunk people at the bar and they were surprised there was even live entertainment.”

Cue the applause line.

“Nine years later, we have sold out the Saban Theatre!”

The anecdote sums up the astonishing rise of the 34-year-old, who is fast becoming the biggest guitar hero America has produced since the heyday of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson and Steve Vai. To promote the release of his imminent 10th solo studio album, Driving Towards the Daylight — which recently entered the U.K. album charts at no. 2, missing the top spot by a mere 100 copies — Bonamassa will spend most of 2012 touring US theaters in the 2,500 to 3,500 range. In Europe, the blues rocker commands even larger venues. Case in point: the 5,500 tickets to Bonamassa’s 2009 show at London’s Royal Albert Hall sold out within a week. No wonder, then, that Bonamassa had the clout to call up Eric Clapton to jam with him for that occasion. (Other recent collaborators on stage and in the recording studio include B.B. King, John Hiatt, Paul Rodgers, Vince Gill, and Aerosmith’s Brad Whitford.)

What’s even more remarkable is that Bonamassa got this big without any hype, any radio play, any record company backing or much mainstream media coverage. He has never been covered (at the time of writing) by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Spin or Rolling Stone.

Bonamassa attained his success the old-fashioned way: He became The Hardest Working Man in Showbiz™. Bonamassa performs over 200 shows every year. (His tour bus is emblazoned with the motto: “Joe Bonamassa: Always on the Road.”) He’s built his fanbase one handshake and autograph at a time and empowered his disciples to employ social media channels such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook to spread the word. Also key to Bonamassa’s growth: He releases at least one solo album per year on his own record label, J&R Adventures. And, given that Bonamassa is not your average Joe, he has several side projects on the boil, too. In 2011, he collaborated with soul singer Beth Hart on the album Don’t Explain. He has also cut two albums with Black Country Communion, the classic-rock supergroup consisting of Bonamassa on guitar and occasional vocals, Glenn Hughes (Black Sabbath, Deep Purple) on bass and vocals, Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater) on keys, and Jason Bonham (son of Led Zeppelin's John Bonham) on drums.

Driving Towards the Daylight is an album hit, just like its recent predecessors, Black Rock (2010) and Dust Bowl (2011). Whereas those blues-rock albums drew from the traditions of country, soul, jazz, folk and even Greek folk music, Driving Towards the Daylight is a “back to basics” record. That’s not to infer it’s a strictly traditional blues record—this is, after all, a man who takes to the stage each night to the intro music of Iron Maiden’s “Two Minutes to Midnight”—but it’s his most raw and stripped down effort since 2006’s You and Me. The album is Bonamassa’s sixth record in seven years with producer Kevin “Caveman” Shirley (Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Rush).

Driving Towards the Daylight showcases Bonamassa’s talents as a singer, guitarist and songwriter. His voice peacock struts through an electro-acoustic take on Robert Johnson’s “Stones in My Passway” and, later, offers a surprisingly sultry reading of Tom Waits’ “New Coat of Paint.” Bonamassa’s fingers prove more nimble that those of a knitting instructor on tracks such as “Lonely Street, Lonely Town,” “Too Much Ain’t Enough Love,” and a rollicking, slide-guitar driven cover of Buddy Miller’s “Somewhere Trouble Don’t Go.” Several of the best tracks are Bonamassa’s own compositions. “Heavenly Soul” boasts an immensely catchy staggered vocal harmony. The steady groove of “Dislocated Boy” gives way to an off-leash solo. And the wistful title track, with its yearning chorus about a road veteran wishing he was home, is lump-in-throat stuff.

A good number of these tracks would be killer tracks on the radio. But, as Bonamassa boasts to his audience at the Saban Theatre, “Of those 140 songs I’ve released so far, I’ve had zero hits! And I can promise you that on my 13th album, there won’t be any hits on that either!”

True, these songs may be unlikely to show up on American Idol anytime soon. But Bonamassa’s days of relative anonymity are fast drawing to a close thanks to word-of-mouth by clamorous crowds such as the one at the Saban Theatre.

A few days after the concert, Rock Square caught up with the guitar hero by phone to discuss subjects as diverse as how he overcame guitarist’s block for his new album, why fans often assume he’s from England, and the music he listens to that would most surprise his fans.

Great show at the Saban Theatre the other day!

Thanks, man. I generally would prefer not to do “the L.A. gig” first off. It sounded alright! We were off for about nine days and I just came back from the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame the day before, because I was involved in inducting Freddie King. We just did seven weeks in Europe, so it’s not like we needed to rehearse. The time off was probably preferable.

Tell me about the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame ceremony. You got to jam with Derek Trucks and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top.

And Dusty Hill! I got to sing with Dusty, which was awesome. It was a real treat that they asked me to come. I was honored. Freddie was a real big hero. I was born a year after he died. For me, Freddie was always the forgotten King. When you’re talking about blues players with the last name King, B.B.’s going to come first because he’s an undisputed champion and he defined the genre of music in which I currently enjoy success. And Albert King made all those great records and “Born under a Bad Sign,” etcetera, etcetera. But Albert was almost more of a soul singer. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. Freddie was almost the forgotten King. But if you ever look at his catalog, [it includes] “Have You Ever Loved a Woman.”

Jamming with those guys must have been quite a trip.

I’ve known Derek for quite a long time. I’ve known Billy for about four or five years. We’ve done some touring with ZZ Top over the years and they’re just killer. Billy Gibbons is a freakin’ legend. Dusty Hill: a freakin’ legend.

Who’s on your wishlist of people you’d like to jam with?

If Jeff Beck asked me up to sing on “Blues Deluxe,” I wouldn’t say no! I’ve done shows with him, but we’ve never jammed.

I imagine you’d have to be at the very top of your game for a jam with Beck.

Best rock guitar player in the world. Underestimate him and think you’ve got him figured out at your own peril. Because he will mess you up.

Let’s talk about your new album, Driving Towards the Daylight, which is your most stripped-down album since You & Me.

Yeah, it is. By design.

What was the inspiration behind that musical direction?

Every record that we’ve done, Kevin Shirley and I—with the exception of You & Me, going back to 2005—has always had a one word way to describe it. Like Sloe Gin was “acoustic.” But then that thing kind of turned what it turned into with more rock, but it had an acoustic element all the way through it. The Ballad of John Henry was “swampy.” We wanted to do a swampy kind of vibe. So we got Blondie Chaplin in and the horn section and basically like a British version of Muscle Shoals. Black Rock was “worldly.” So the bouzouki came out. Dust Bowl was “Americana.” I felt the need to remind people that I’m from America and not British. People think I’m from London. This one was “blues.”

I needed to go back and rediscover why I play the guitar in the first place. At the end of the day when things get hectic and you reach a level of success—I’m not complaining and it’s always something we’ve strived for—sometimes you end up doing more things in your day un-music related than music related. Kevin asked, “Why do you play this thing in the first place?” We did a session in August and he felt I was getting a bit stale. He felt that I was so distracted by other things that needed to be addressed that I wasn’t playing as well. Admittedly, I wasn’t. I had done the Black Country Communion tour, kind of burnt out and I felt really done. I thought I was just losing my motor skills. I went through a pretty big funk and rut.

Kevin said, “You need to play for the fun and joy of it.” He said, “Blues is your joy. It always has been and it’s where you’re comfortable. So I want to make you uncomfortable in your comfort zone.” So we got a whole different bunch of cats in and we messed around with the arrangements. When it was time to lay a lead solo down, it was fun, it was exciting. It was the same feeling I had when I was 17.

To me, it was genius on his part because he really got me focused and fired up again.

You’ve got Brad Whitford from Aerosmith on the record. What were his contributions?

The way he would play guitar behind a solo would elevate your playing. He has this master ability to play solos as a rock guitar player himself. But when he plays rhythm, he has this really driving, direct kind of playing that, if you don’t go with him, he’ll come screaming past you. It was all about a conversation between two guitar players. The fact that the whole record took on a very British blues tone was something he and I bonded over. We all listened to that John Mayall record from way back.

“Too Much Ain’t Enough Love” seems to have a very Gary Moore influence.

Gary was always a huge influence on me. It’s almost a default setting. We’ve been doing “Midnight Blues” in our show for a while and it’s kind of become a star of a song. I meant to take it out this summer, but people are disappointed if I don’t play it. So give the people what they want, Joseph! They’ll come back and bring their friends.

How did you come across Buddy Miller’s “Somewhere Trouble Don’t Go”?

I’m a huge fan of Buddy Miller. I’ve always been a fan of the way he makes gospel records that, depending on which way you take the lyrics, could go either way. Like the way “Midnight Ramble” can take on two different meanings. I’ve been a fan of his since he was in Emmylou Harris’s band. But I got to meet him last year at a Robert Plant gig in L.A. I said, “Hi Buddy, my name is Joe Bonamassa.” He said, “Wow!” He was kind of familiar with my music and he was so nice and gracious. We instantly bonded over Wandré guitars and Vox amps and it took a very posh scene backstage at The Greek, where all the scenesters were out, and all of a sudden, there was a little circle of geekdom. Lovely guy!

I got to thinking, “I should do one of Buddy’s songs.” “Somewhere Trouble Don’t Go” is a song I always loved. We kind of messed with the arrangement. When I played it for Kevin, he said, “Well, why don’t we make this the chorus?” We hoped he wouldn’t mind. We’ve always taken that attitude with anything that we cover: We just kind of make our own version of it because there’s no reason to do an exact Buddy Miller version because you can just listen to the Buddy Miller version and that would be the best version. So l have to figure out the best avenue. I’m very happy with the result.

One of your original compositions, “Heavenly Soul,” has an amazing vocal.

Thanks! I wanted to try and write a song like “Paper and Fire” by John Mellencamp. But I also took the headspace of what if Mark Knopfler did that? So I came up with a Knopfler riff only with that kind of amped up Kenny Aronoff drumbeat. My dad thinks it’s the best song on the record. I won’t argue with my father.

You have wholly reimagined Robert Johnson’s “Stones in My Passway.”

We did it on the two and the four as opposed to the one and the three. Everybody felt that but me, so I was the odd man out. Man, that was tough. But it came out great.

You don’t release singles, but the title track is the closest thing to the single on the record. The song seems to be all about how you’re on the road 200 nights a year and staring down that endless highway.

There’s a lot more road where that came from! I wrote that chorus with Danny Kortchmar a while back. Six or seven years back—how time flies!

I used to drive my own van, when I toured in a van. It’s like now I live a posh lifestyle with two tour buses, two trucks and a crew of 20 people. There was a formative time when there were only four of us or five of us at the most. I used to drive the van overnight. I would good to drive until the sun came up, and then I’d start to get tired. I’d always call it, “driving towards the daylight.” I knew I needed to drive to where we were going before the sun came up, because we’d have to pull over and someone else would have to drive. I rewrote the verses to be a double meaning about a relationship I had in 2008 that I’m still not over.

Let’s go back to something you said earlier about how fans often assume you’re British. Before your recent show in L.A., a woman approached you and thanked you for coming all the way from England!

It happens to me more times than you can imagine. You play one gig at the Royal Albert Hall and Clapton comes out and people think you’re British.

I spend a lot of time in the UK. I’ve found a lot of success there. A lot of that success has come over to the States now. Before, we would do a thousand people a night. Twelve hundred people on a good day. All of a sudden, I’m starting to see 2,000 to 3,000 people. And it’s sold out. Are you kidding me?

I think I’m looked at as an international artist even though I’m a bozo who lives in the south part of Ventura county. I sometimes dress British because I like to throw the customs agents off and they try and send me to the other line and I go, “No, apple pie, baby! I have an American passport.”

Anyway, truth be told, that happens more often than anything. I’m going, “That’s a very strange position to be in.” I’ll take it because it’s worked. We’ve traveled the world and when you put in your 10,000 hours and collected your stripes, so to speak, they look at you in Wichita and go, “Wow, he came from Russia four weeks ago.” For people who haven’t traveled very much it’s very exotic. For me, it’s just another hotel.

Over the past half century, the blues has arguably been more popular in Europe than in America. In the 1960s, touring African-American blues greats were astonished to discover they were revered in Europe yet taken for granted at home.

Muddy Waters and those cats had to go over there to find success, because they were just playing shitty clubs here.

What is the state of blues in America today?

You know, I see an upswing in kids who want to play guitar and they want to shred. They can shred on the blues and they can shred on the rock. If I’ve proven anything —which is still yet to be determined—it’s that if a bozo like me can make it, then anyone can. It just takes a lot of hard work and perseverance.

My definition of blues is extraordinarily liberal. I still think of Zeppelin as a blues band. They are in a lot of ways—or were! I think The Who is a bit of a blues band. But to the purists, that’s crazy talk. To them, it’s Robert Johnson and I always try and remind them that I was born on Robert Johnson’s 66th birthday, if he had lived that long, but that doesn’t really cut mustard with them!

What I do see in America is other artists who have been struggling for years and they come up to me and say, “The way you’ve done it has been very impressive.” I think the way I’ve done it is probably more impressive to them than the music I make. It’s the fact that I’ve gone out there and fought for every person who’s going to come to the gig. Chances are that I’ve already shaken their hand, or am about to shake their hand on the way out.

If that inspires kids to get out there in a van and put a band together and get your ass kicked twenty years and then you come out the other side and you’ve made it, that’s a source of great pride. I was the cat who was inspired by all these other guys, so I’d go out and buy all their guitars and want a guitar to look just like that guy. I’m about to turn 35 years old, so to see kids who are 16, 17 holding Joe Bonamassa model Epiphones and Gibsons, it’s a tangential shift from where I thought I was going to end up.

It’ll be interesting to see if Gary Clark Jr. comes to occupy a similar position.

If I were to give anyone advice —now, I’m not saying I’ve giving Gary any advice, but I see what’s going on with him – you cannot skip steps. You can market yourself. You can go out there and play great gigs. You cannot skip steps and it will take every one of those 10,000 hours before you get your stripes. Look at Derek Trucks. Derek started playing gigs when he was 11 or 10. I was 11. We were about the same age. So he’s put in 20,000 hours. So have I. Kenny Wayne [Shepherd], same thing. Gary’s been kicking around Austin and he’s always been good. But it’s going to take more than an EP and some magazines to make it happen. He’s out there touring and he’s working hard. I’ve never met the cat but I’ve heard he’s a nice guy and I’m happy for anyone to have success in this business —it’s a drag, you know. He’s at least playing some honest music and getting kids interested in it. Congrats to him.

The Black Keys are also a great gateway into the blues for a younger generation.

They’re awesome. Dan Auerbach is a killer songwriter and I think he’s a killer singer. Their whole take on the blues is very impressive to me because it’s definitely different. To do something different with three chords is tough.

You’re a truly global star now. For example, the leading DJ in South Africa for rock and blues plays your stuff all the time. Will you tour parts of the globe you’ve never been to before?

It’s one of my goals. I told my manager Roy: “Every year we play a new territory.” This year, we’re going to do two in Brazil and one in Argentina. We found an audience in Argentina immediately. They sold out immediately. My goal for 2013 or 2014 is South Africa. I want to play South Africa. I have so many people in my world that are from South Africa, like Blondie Chaplin who plays on my record. [Drummer] Anton Fig. Kevin grew up there. Everyone says it’s great down there, so we’ve got to pack our guitars and go there even if we just play a small club there. Just to say we did. We’ll record it. We’re always off in the winter here, so we could go in January or February or something.

Who are the bobble-head guitar figurines on top of your amps?

Me.

They’re all you?

Last year, we did a series of bobbleheads. We’re working on a new one. It’s a pisstake on myself, really, because you see all those amps and some rare and very expensive guitars and some guy in sunglasses and a black suit who looks like he’s auditioning for the next Men in Black film. Some people can get the wrong idea that I can take myself too seriously. To meet me offstage without the suit on is pretty laughable sometimes. That’s my way of saying, “I don’t take this shit too seriously. Have fun with the bobbleheads.”

I was looking at the Joe Bonamassa online forum and one guy was saying he went to your pre-show meet and greet in L.A. and he was astonished that you remembered his name. That anecdote says so much about how you’ve built up your fanbase.

Well, tonight, we’re in Wichita, Kansas. And the guy who runs the venue came up to me soon as we walked off the bus and said, “We may have a severe weather situation.” Now, when they say “severe weather situation” in Kansas, that means tornados. He goes, “Generally what people do is they just play through it. But if we have to make an announcement, you can keep playing, it won’t matter. We want you to be able to do the gig.” I said, “Stop right there.” I said, “Let’s get something on the table. First of all, you tell me there’s a tornado headed this way, I stop playing the gig and you do an announcement over the P.A. I’ve essentially invited 2,000 people to my house for the day. I just happen to rent this building. I’m kind of responsible for this.”

I’m very protective of them because they would go over a wall for me—and they have. There’s people who’ve painstakingly spread the word “Bonamassa” to the point where their friends are not friends with them anymore because they go, “Stop talking about that.” But that’s what it takes and they understand that the level of appreciation goes both ways. It’s genuine.

I heard that a fan bought a rare guitar to one of your recent shows and asked if you’d play a song on it. Can you tell me the story behind that?

I bought the guitar from him. It’s a 1961 Gibson 335. He came to Charlotte, North Carolina. I was in a meet-and-greet line and the guy is sitting there with an iPad and he wants to take a picture of him and his wife with me. (I should just mention, at that point we capped the meet-and-greet line at 75 because it was getting to be 200 people and it would take two-and-a-half hours. If you do that five nights a week, you’ll burn out.) He said, “My father passed away six years ago and he left us this guitar —me and my sister—this Gibson 1961 335. I’d really like to see it go to someone who would play it and appreciate it. Would you be interested in buying it?” He said, “Mind you, we tried to get it to Eric Clapton.” It’s a little difficult getting it backstage to Eric Clapton than it is with me—I don’t take it personally! Clapton is God!

He brings [the guitar down] and I give him so money for it. I said, “Listen, you can get more money eBaying this thing. This is what I’m willing to pay you for it. I’m not trying to rob you.” I did give him a fair deal for it. And the deal was, to get it for that, his wife said, “Can you play ‘Happier Times’ on that guitar?”

Now, this guitar had not been played in 25 years. Two of the tuning machines are shrunken and about to crack off. And the pots were frozen. So, I give him the money at 7:20. We have a show at 8, which we do every night. So my guitar tech and I came up with a plan of action. We always take a lot of spare tuners with us because a lot of the old Gibsons I play are ancient and the tuners will break off. So we’re restringing it and it’s like a Formula One pit stop. He’s doing strings and tuning machines and I’m doing the pots. Finally, about 20 minutes before the show, it’s done and we plug into the little amp in the backstage and it works. But the pots are still very scratchy and you could touch them and they could stop working. So I said, “This could be wet and wild.” It was one of those things where the stars lined up and it just worked. It sounded great and the guitar’s a star. It’s 20 feet from me at the moment. I play it every night. It’s a great guitar.

How many guitars do you have in your collection right now?

I had about 300 at one point. I sold off about 150 of them recently because I wasn’t using them. I was buying doubles and triples of these things that I forgot I owned because they were in these piles. I got a really nasty habit last year of purchasing original ’59 Les Paul sunburst guitars. The L.A. show you saw had three with me. The thing is, that’s like buying 100 guitars at one point. I said, “I’d rather have these.” I’d rather have less stuff that I can maintain, but nicer things. Guitars that I really love to play, that I honestly want, as opposed to “look how many guitars I have in this massive collection of stuff.” I probably have about 110 maybe.

If you were stuck on a desert island and you could only take on guitar with you, which one would be it be?

I’m taking Les Paul serial number 90829 made in 1959. My first Les Paul sunburst and my favorite. The guitar is a very special guitar to me because I saved up. It was a shocker. I had never paid that much, well up until that point I hadn’t paid that much for one single item in my life. I saved up and I took the plunge.

My friend, who sold it to me, said, “Just pay me a dollar a week.” I said, “I can do better than that.” He said, “Just pay me over the next two years.” I saved and I made a few things happen and I paid him off in four months. I was very proud of that. That guitar is very special.

Do you collect any other rock memorabilia?

I collect rock posters. Fillmore posters and I like vintage posters. The process that went into making those, especially in the ‘30s and ‘40s, was incredible. Every time you see a different color and shade because they had to redo the plates. It was such a work of art. I like advertisement stuff, like I have some old Italian wine advertisements. I have some old movie ones. I have a really killer Japanese one that was done in the early ‘50s when Japan was just getting out of the fog of World War II. It’s a movie thing for a Samurai movie and it’s bright red. It hasn’t faded. And I have some old concert posters from The Fillmore that are really killer.

You and your manager, Roy, have pioneered a really cutting edge business model by doing everything yourselves , such as booking your own theaters rather than using a promoter, and cutting out the middle man. For all the success you’re having, do you ever scratch your head over the fact that Rolling Stone and The New York Times has never covered you? They’re writing about bands that play to 100 fans a night whereas you’re a genuine success story.

I will say this: There’s maybe hope for me with Rolling Stone because [co-founder and publisher] Jann Wenner actually came up to the table [at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame] after I played and shook my hand. He said, “Good job, Joe.” I thought, “Wow, that cat knows my name. I’m happy.”

I have no idea. They’ve never reviewed my records and it’s not like they haven’t had 13 chances over the last 13 years! But I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything. I haven’t been on Letterman or Leno or any of those late night shows. They go, “We don’t play blues guys.” But then they’ll go and play other blues guys. I’m just going to have to accept the fact that they don’t like me, or they don’t think it’s hip enough, or whatever. And that’s fine. Chances are they’ve never seen a live gig.

At Austin City Limits, when we played the venue last year, which is a 2,200 seat theater, we sold it out on a Tuesday night. The person running it says, “Why didn’t we tape the show?” I said, “You gotta ask me, that’s all you got to do. We’re not hard to find. Ask me and I’ll come.” Would I like to be on Austin City Limits? Yes!

We’re just forgotten. Or not remembered. I’ve had nine number one blues albums in my career and the only two people ahead of me are Eric Clapton and B.B. King. But these fans get it, and that’s all I care about.

We’ve always had good coverage in the guitar trade magazines. And in the UK, Classic Rock magazine editor Scott Rowley took a chance in doing [a cover story]. He said, “I think there’s a real story here about how you’ve come out of nowhere. You were always around but now it’s kind of gotten interesting.”

But, hey, listen, those are Cadillac problems. There are cats can’t get arrested and are super talented. So I don’t want to sit here and moan about Rolling Stone.

What are you listening to at the moment?

I just bought this record from ’82 called We Want Miles. It’s with Marcus Miller, Mike Stern. They do a helluva version of “Jean Pierre”. It’s guys at the top of their game. The guitar solo is just epic. I’d never heard Stern play like that. I was like, “Wow!” So much so that my drummer was listening to it and came out of my dressing room and said, “What is that?” I bought Tutu. I went on an ‘80s Miles Davis kick, stuff with John Scofield and Darryl Jones. Miles didn’t really do a whole lot of playing but he could certainly out the musicians in the room.

What do you listen to that might surprise your fans?

I am probably one of the biggest Bruce Hornsby fans in the world. I think his stuff is classic. I nick a lot of his arrangement ideas because he has a really good soulful sensibility but there’s a lot depth in the music. I’m always a fan of anything Bruce does.

Recommendation for you: Otis Taylor just released the best album of his career, Contraband.

Oh, I love him! He’s from Boulder, Colorado. I’ve been meaning to buy it because I buy every one of his. I like the one he did called White African. He’s one of those cats we were just talking about going, “Why isn’t this guy a big star?” He’s as authentic as it gets.

Does your near future include another record with Beth Hart, another album with Black Country Communion?

Black Country first. We record that in June. And then Beth Hart 2, we record that in January next year. That one I’m excited about. That was a happy accident, that whole thing, the way it came out.

Thanks for chatting, Joe and best wishes for the future.

Thanks!

Huge Blues fan? Read on for our interview with the great Sonny Landreth here.

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