Joe Bonamassa has set himself apart as one of the best blues guitarists of all time. He started applying the guitar at 4, and by the time he turned 6, he had mastered how to play chords. At 12, Bonamassa had advanced so much that he started a band, playing the guitar his father gifted him. The guitarist continued honing his craft and is a renowned blues singer and guitarist. Here is a list of some of the best Joe Bonamassa songs that showcase his talent.
10. Why Does It Take So Long to Say Goodbye?
Unfortunately, not all relationships lead to marriage, but the decision to give up on the one you love is usually difficult. This was the case that led to the song “Why Does It Take So Long to Say Goodbye?” According to Grateful Web, the song is inspired by a previous relationship Bonamassa had that lasted five years. They both knew they were stretching it, hoping for a better outcome, but eventually had to face the fact that it was time to let go. Still, it was sad and Bonamassa, with the help of Bernie Marsden, wrote the lyrics one afternoon to help him come to terms with the breakup.
9. The Ballad of John Henry
Incredibly, the song was recorded in an hour when Bonamassa was tipsy. He told Music Radar that he needed a song that was heavy and upbeat to open the record, but they were yet to have a title track. Somehow in his drunken daze, he plugged in his guitar and started playing notes. The song came to him, and Bonamassa began recording on his iPhone; to his surprise, he had recorded the entire song. The riff is so good that it made it to #12 on the 50 Greatest Riffs of The Decade poll by Total Guitar.
8. Self-inflicted Wounds
This is a song drawn from personal experience. Bonamassa revealed to Guitar Player that he wrote it at a time when he had focused so much on his career and neglected his personal life. Consequently, he felt like his personal life was imploding on him and wound up writing one of the best songs. Although written in 2018, Bonamassa confessed that he still finds himself feeling downcast as he did back then, but music helps to keep him grounded.
7. Mountain Climbing
Among the songs in his “Blues of Desperation” album released in 2016 is “Mountain Climbing.” It is a song that encourages people to chase their dreams no matter how hard the road is. After all, everyone has their mountain to climb because we all got dues to pay. He told Louder Sound that the album is about someone who is pushing forward and not resting because of the accomplishments attained. The message in “Mountain Climbing” summarizes what Bonamassa intended for the entire album.
6. Woke Up Dreaming
Off the 2003 album “Blues Deluxe,” this song tells the story of how broken a man feels when he loses the woman he loves. In the narrative, Bonamassa reaches out to touch his woman only to realize she is no longer there. He even dreams that he is going to die because he lost the love of his life. Anyone who has been through a breakup can relate to the singer’s raw emotions as he belts out that he wants to live another day, just to see the woman return to him.
5. Sloe Gin
Bonamassa once said that “Sloe Gin” is probably his biggest song. It is only a cover, but the musician did a remarkable job. The song dates back to 1978 when Tim Curry first recorded it after Michael Kamen and Bob Ezrin wrote the lyrics. Bonamassa’s producer, Kevin Shirley, played the song to the singer and told him that if they did it right, it would be among the best blue songs ever recorded. Bonamassa was captivated by the guitar playing hence decided to record the song with a few tweaks to the lyrics.
4. Mountain Time
Bonamassa disclosed that he would disappoint his fans if he did not play it in his concerts. He co-wrote it with Will Jennings, a songwriter whose compositions like “My Heart Will Go On” by Celie Dion and “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton became great hits. When he first recorded the song in 2002, Bonamassa preferred a fast pace, but upon listening to “Midnight Rider” by Gregg Allman, the singer decided to switch to a slower pace.
3. Driving Towards the Daylight
The song seems to be about a dying romantic relationship. He is trying to get closure, wondering what went wrong and who is to blame. Eventually, he blames himself for the death of their love. It is the title track to his 2012 album, and it still captures the hearts of anyone who listens to it. Most of his fans fall in love with his guitar-strumming skills at the beginning of the song.
2. I’ll Play the Blues for You
There is no denying the reverence Bonamassa holds for Albert King, and the other two Kings – Freddie King and BB King. The blues singer exclaimed that of the three Kings, Albert is his idol. Bonamassa even described Albert as the immaculate conception of a guitarist because, before him, no one played the guitar the same way. It is, therefore, no wonder that he decided to cover one of Albert’s songs “I’ll Play the Blues for You.” Bonamassa even held a Three Kings tour to pay tribute to the three kings and went as far as playing guitars similar to the models the legends used.
Most people agree that driving is therapeutic, and Bonamassa based his song on this belief. So, he and James House penned the lyrics about a man who wants to go on a drive with his sweetheart. The man in the narrative can feel that this woman has not been herself lately, so he asks her to put on a nice dress so they can drive their troubles away. Of course, no drive is complete without music, so he also promises to play some blues.
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