This features the rise of blues-rock sensation Joe Bonamassa to legend status. At a fraction less than two hours, this is a must-have for any blues music lover.

Full of clips from live shows through the ages and narrated throughout mainly by Joe himself reflecting on his life in music. He is also joined by Roy Weisman, who has worked with Joe since 1991 and is founder of J&R Adventures, Joe’s record label.

Acknowledgement also goes to the input of his Musical Producer Kevin Shirley.
So many highlights in this documentary chronicling when he first started to play at four years old to the present day. His parents Len and Debra are featured. His dad knew Joe could play and bought him his first guitar at age five and a half, from then he has never looked back.

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His first real band was Bloodline who were signed onto EMI label, the first album was released in 1994. Joe Hardy produced this and said of Joe’s guitar technique “ Plays guitar like a cat on its hind legs”. But Smokin’ Joe had a different work ethic to the rest of the band. Joe always felt he was “An old man in a kid’s body”.
When Kevin Shirley became Joe’s Musical Producer, he got Joe to find out what it was like to go into a studio with top musicians. A highlight being the 2007 album Sloe Gin. Roy stating this was “ the first time I got paid through the project since meeting Joe”.Joe went on to meet a girl from Georgia, who consequently broke his heart. The theme of love and heartache runs through the album Ballad Of John Henry. There is great video footage of the song “Happier Times”.

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“After I’m Dead I don’t care”

Moving to May 4th 2009, the first time he played Royal Albert Hall. Joe got to play with his idol Eric Clapton on, “Further On Up The Road” to a packed audience. This was the turning point in his career. From then, he mixed a World music album in Greece, Black Rock. This incorporated Kevin’s feeling of “A universal language of music”.

There are more interviews and backstage scenes a plenty as he finishes off by going to Mississippi and paying homage to the blues forefathers. Of special note, Joe says about blues music, “This is passed down and takes a different form. Very interested in how blues will be interpreted in ten, twenty, forty years” Then looks straight into the camera and laughs, “After I’m Dead I don’t care”.
A very insightful documentary about one of the finest guitar players around music today, it captures the honesty and integrity of this workaholic!

 Joe Bonamassa’s “Guitar Man” documentary is on video-on-demand and digital released by Paramount Home Entertainment on December 8th.  Pre-order: https://paramnt.us/GuitarManSite

COLIN CAMPBELL