Only last year we were telling you about a relatively young, yet hugely experienced, blues-rock guitarist who appeared to be on the brink of big things. Well guess what? Joe Bonamassa has achieved just that and with considerable aplomb. His most recent album, "Driving Towards the Daylight" blasted its way to NUMBER 2 in the UK Album Charts, a considerably better performance than any of his previous releases or his collaborative efforts with Black Country Communion and Beth Hart, although to be fair, both his previous solo-albums "Black Rock" and "Dust Bowl", notched up Top 20 placings.
His reputation started at a painfully early age after being given a guitar at the age of 4 and learning Jimi Hendrix and other blues-masters' catalogues off by heart by 7 years old. Now THAT'S talent - and it didn't stop there. At the tender age of 12 years old, he performed an opening slot at a BB King concert and then formed a band (Bloodline) within two years. Bonamassa has made no secret of the fact that his true heroes have always originated from the British blues-scene, rather than the US, citing John Mayall, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Rory Gallagher as key inspirations.
Perhaps that's why we've taken to the affable performer, although it's taken us a dozen years to truly absorb his solo work to the max. After hooking up with Glenn Hughes and Jason Bonham in Black Country Communion, you'd be forgiven for thinking he'd crossed the mainstream path with that band's first two albums, but no. "Driving Towards The Daylight" has surpassed all. Its 56 minutes of rock-solid electric-blues has proven to be a diamond in the rough seas of pop and dance detritus.
In 2013, Bonamassa will return to the UK for four very special 'Up Close and Personal' shows in London that will highlight the man's roots and his journey from player to a behemoth of blues. The first show will be in the intimate 200-capacity environs of the Borderline on 26th March, followed by the incrementally larger venues of the Shepherd's Bush Empire (27th), Hammersmith Apollo (28th) and finally, the Royal Albert Hall (29th).
We will have tickets on sale from Friday 1st June at 9am, priced from £40 to £75. The demand will be unprecedented.