Sound Bites: Joe Bonamassa

Joe Bonamassa

Joe Bonamassa, surrounded by ‘friends’ | Photo by Christie Goodwin

Welcome to Sound Bites, where we meet rock musicians at the crossroads between music and food.

Digital Dossier
Twitter Handle: @JBONAMASSA
Facebook: Joe Bonamassa Page
Official Website:

Joe Bonamassa is the Superman of modern guitarists.

The small-town musician grew up around guitars (his parents own and run a shop in New Hartford, NY), so perhaps he was genetically destined to develop the unique singing and shredding style that has elevated him to insane heights of popularity. Aside from playing to sold-out audiences around the world, he’s jammed with everyone who is anyone in the Blues business. John Lee Hooker. B.B. King. Eric Clapton. Check. Check. Check.

With 10 studio albums, numerous live discs and a slew of DVDs, the prolific Bonamassa rarely takes time off of the road — all the more reason to catch his superlative show when he swings through your town.

Our friend recently said he’s seen you perform more than once already this year. What do you think keeps Joe Bonamassa fans hungry for more?
Nothing is routine, every show is a bit different, and our shows will evolve every year with new songs and new arrangements. I think the fans like the variety and solid performances of good music.

You grew up in New Hartford, NY. What are your favorite dishes local to the Utica area?
Anytime I am visiting home, we visit the Chesterfield on Bleeker Street for an authentic upstate New York take on Italian food.

Blues music makes millions of fans happy annually — but “the blues” are, at their core, about sadness and depression. What is your favorite comfort food?
Once a year, I treat myself to a cowboy steak at The Palm restaurant on Santa Monica Blvd.

You’ve played with just about every famous blues artist known to man. Who was the best dinner-table storyteller? Any cool meals and stories you can recount for our audience?
B.B. King has the best stories by far… he has been in the business for over 60 years, and he knows everyone, especially those who were there in the beginning of the birth of Blues.

Worse buyer’s remorse: splurging on an expensive dinner or buying an expensive guitar?
Neither! Because I do both.

Enjoy the complete Sound Bites series on CityEats here.

  • Scott Brown

    Excellent Will……..Joey B. is right; every show offers something different and exciting whether it be a new acoustic arrangement or guest artists adding a new instrument or harmony. It’s much the way I view wine; every bottle is different whether it’s subtle because of the food being paired or it’s an entirely different varietal altogether. Anyway, thanks for the shout out.