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Masterclass – Joe Bonamassa in Murcia

Photo by Miki

There are expressions for this kind of thing; “Selling sand to the arabs” – “Taking coals to Newcastle”.  But “Bringing guitar to Andalucia”, at least to my knowledge, is not one of them.  Joe Bonamassa had the balls to do just that when he and his band performed for well over 2 hours in Murcia last week, and the Spanish loved him for it. It was his first visit there, and me and my partner Miki welcomed it, loving his music, and the fact that it was only an hour or so’s drive from where we live. Miki, being a painter was inspired to capture him. Check out her take on things HERE.

Photo by Miki

The late English entertainer Roy Castle had a catchphrase: “Dedication’s what you need” and boy, is Joe the living embodiment of that. He plays guitar around 6 hours a day without fail, and since he was knee-high to a grasshopper, and it shows. He is the master of his instrument. The guitar is a living thing in his hands. He caresses it, coaxes, cajoles it, and he makes it sing. From a whisper to a roar, a blinding flurry of runs, or that single sonorous note, perfectly plucked, hanging in the air, beautifully formed – an auditory equivalent of the first drop of morning dew falling from a leaf, a moment of wonder.

Me outside the auditorium in Murcia before Joe's gig

He paints pictures in the air, does Joe. There are very, very few guitarists that come close to his artistry, perhaps Jeff Beck, but few others have the skill and the soul.

Me and Joe in Loket, Czech Republic, for the Black Country Communion gig

His work ethic is amazing. He tours, and tours and tours. Fantastically organised and marshalled by his Manager Roy Wiseman, (who I admire enormously for his attitude to the Major labels and his commitment to Joe)- he can move around Europe with ease day after day, getting to his public, and winning over new fans. Does he get on the radio much? Not really. Has he had any hits. Um, not really.  He is a musician apart. Apart from the sickening conveyor belt of dross that is served up via the media and airwaves of five minute wonders and meagre talents, that the rest of us are expected to eat up like conditioned sheep.

In the real world, where there are real music fans, and music matters, Joe Bonamassa is King.

Kev Moore

March 1, 2012 Posted by | Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts, Touring, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Music Business Rant – Just wind me up and let me go!

In the beginning there was Music.

DJ’s then came along, because we needed someone to play the records, but they were just frustrated musicians, wanting to be famous, yet possessing no musical skill. then the unthinkable happening, DJ’s began m-m-m-messing about with r-r-r-records, and people who couldn’t sing started talking on those r-r-r-records and suddenly DJ’s were MORE FAMOUS THAN MUSICIANS!!
Then to compound the problem, Karaoke went viral. Suddenly your Auntie Mabel, drunk on last years Christmas sherry was singing I Will Survive to a note perfect backing track and she actually believed, through her drunken stupor , that “I’m as good as Gloria Gaynor”

Then, Simon Cowell happened. If ever a ‘last straw’ could manifest itself in human form, then this was he. The man who inflicted “Mr Blobby” on the world realized that if he fed the psychosis of all these talentless wannabes, he could siphon off huge wads of cash from a frankly blinkered, force-fed public and inflict garbage music on the world at the same time. Ugly Scottish women became global superstars. Stupid airhead male blond twins without a braincell between them but sharing a collective name became famous for being nondescript.
Then, as a final nail in the coffin, the computer geeks designed a game that seduced the last remaining proper music fans into thinking that THEY TOO were rock stars.

All the while, the real musicians had fallen into a coma of depression. Because, when the world has had its fill of Carrie Underwood, Susan Boyle, Jedward and all that goes with it, who will be left to write and perform real, new music? Are we to be condemned to the entire unappetizing universe of underage talentless dross releasing their own album of Swing classics, or appearing live with a 100 year old ex superstar to “add credibility”? Music business? Dog business more like.

I suppose music is a very subjective er….subject. But really, have we been even remotely close to being shown the teenage talent of a band like Free in the last 40-odd years? No. I remember Ash being lauded as an ‘amazing young band’ – yet, when they appeared on Jools’ ‘Later’, they couldn’t even keep time or stay in tune with the one-note jam at the beginning, for Christ’s sake! Have we really set the bar so low that the only genuine talent we are likely to witness would be a limbo dancer?

But the problem lies in the Large record companies failure to recognize the need for change, and consequently, having relied too heavily on a back catalogue that people are now cheerfully downloading for nothing, (for “file-sharing”, read “property theft”) they are strapped for cash to develop new , upcoming artists. This may, just may, have a similar effect to punk, whereby all new bands effectively become their own little cottage industries, building a fanbase from the ground up. But this is an infintessimally small chink of light at the end of a very long tunnel, as sales of their music, such as they are, will be miniscule, and incapable of helping the band to develop to the next level. Music, (not disneyfied, American idol pap) will in fact be doomed to become an eternal hobby, or a plaything for the already rich.

Well that’s all from me. I’m off out to buy the Susan Boyle ‘metalhead’ add-on for Guitar Hero.

Kev Moore

June 25, 2010 Posted by | Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments