Joe Bonamassa at the Greek Theatre

The Greek Theatre of Los Angeles, CA kicked off it’s first show of its 90th season with none other than guitar great Joe Bonamassa August 1st who usually plays this historic theater on this exact date or close to it.

If it wasn’t for the Blues, Rock N’Roll would never exist. Following in the footsteps of great rock guitarists heavily influenced by the Blues like Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, Joe Bonamassa is part of today’s generation of guitar greats carrying on the Blues. At the young of age of 11 Bonamassa was mentored by the late Danny Gatton and was opening for B.B. King. Bonamassa was destined to carry the torch of the Blues greats like B.B., Freddie, and Albert King which he paid homage to on his Three Kings tour in 2015. In fact Bonamassa has his own non-profit named Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation. By the time Bonamassa released his debut album in 2000 at the age of 23, he was working with legendary producer Tom Dowd just two years before his passing and Gregg Allman guested on it. Now 44, Bonamassa has released 14  studio albums and 18  live albums in 21 years including one at the Greek, and just between 2002 and 2006 had three number one studio albums, and has shared the stage with the likes of Clapton, Stephen Stills, Steve Winwood, and Buddy Guy.  Bonamassa also has one of the biggest vintage guitar collections and some of his instruments are on display at the Sunset Marquis hotel.

I’ve seen Bonamassa over five times and am always amazed by not only his guitar skills but his voice as well. Bonamassa’s band includes session drummer Greg Morrow (Blake Shelton, Don Henley), Stevie Ray Vaughan keyboardist Reese Wynans, Nashville session bassist Michael Rhodes (Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson), and vocalist Jade McRae.  Bonamassa is more of an album oriented artist and not one who just wants to put out hit singles. With that being said, one doesn’t come to a Bonamassa show just to hear a hit song, they come for an experience of great songs all night, but all Bonamassa fans have a favorite song. For Bonamassa having released his debut album 21 years ago, it’s interesting to see he always pulls in an older crowd that you would see at shows of artists that have been around twice as long.

Bonamassa opened with “Oh Beautiful” and played a 15 song set including “Conversation With Alice,” “Lonely Boy,” and “Ballad of John Henry.” Crossroads was the closing song. Bonamassa also covered Gary Moore, Tom Waits,  The title “Hardest Working Man In Show Business,” was given to James Brown a number of years ago. For me I would consider Joe the hardest working musician today between releasing a new album every 1-2 years, touring on each album, and releasing live concerts and dvds  in between. Bonamassa always puts on a great show and is the type of artist worth seeing every time they come around.


Between songs Bonamassa mentioned coming back home to L.A.  last year on March 12 from Minneapolis, MN and said there was a chance “I’d never walk on this stage again in front of a full house,” Happy 90th anniversary and happy 91st birthday.” Bonamassa also stated it was the Greek’s first show since November 2019 and joked about him being chosen for opening night.


  1. Oh Beautiful

  2. Love Ain't A Love Song

  3. Midnight Blues- Gary Moore

  4. Lookout Man!

  5. Jockey Full of Bourbon - Tom Waits

  6. I Didn’t Think She Would Do It

  7. Just Cuz You Can

  8. Wandering Earth

  9. Pain and Sorrow

  10. Conservation With Alice

  11. When One Door Opens

  12. Lonely Boy

  13. Ballad of John Henry



  1. Woke Up Dreaming

  2. Crossroads - Robert Johnson