WHETHER OR NOT you’ve had the chance to catch a Joe Bonamassa gig, his latest DVD, Live from the Royal Albert Hall [Premier Artists], is a must see. Not only do you get blues-rock’s leading light at the height of his powers, but you also get a kick-ass backing band, stellar camera work, great sound quality, and a little jam between Bonamassa and a guy whose initials are E.C.
It was Kevin Shirley’s idea. We needed something epic-sounding yet simple, as we were anticipating the nerve factor times ten. It also went well with the second tune, “Ballad of John Henry.”
The amount of pressure was immense: 4,500 people, Eric Clapton, and 250 grand on the line. Plus, my mom, dad, and sister Lindsay were there. That was the biggest. Gotta be good when the family comes.
I was happy with the tone. Converting audio into ones and zeros affects the tone somewhat, so DVDs are tricky. You have to master it with the limitations in mind. Now Blu-ray is a different story…
For any guitarist, to play with the person who influenced you on a fundamental level is special. It was honestly a once in a lifetime experience. Eric is a total gentleman, and I will always be grateful for him coming and playing.
He did mention to me that he liked one of my sunburst Les Pauls. We used to call that guitar Gary Moore. Now I call it “God’s Choice.”
I honestly don’t remember much about the night. Two and half hours went by in a blur. When I watch the DVD, I think, “Damn, I was having a blast!”
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