Joe Bonamassa possibly followed in the footsteps of his blues guitar forefather, Robert Johnson, and made a deal with the devil during the past two years. In a bending, wailing whirlwind, Bonamassa was named 2009 Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards, Eric Clapton joined him at his sold-out show at Royal Albert Hall, and he won the 2009 Readers Choice Award from Guitar Player magazine. Looking back, though, you'd see him opening for B.B. King at age 12. Either he got in with the devil early or he's an incredible talent and hard worker and deserves all the props.
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Musically, Bonamassa takes the blues places it does not typically reside, like Greece. His latest record, 2010's Black Rock, was recorded there, and some of the country's finest musicians appear on the record. Incorporating Greek instruments like the bouzouki and clarino is not the only thing that makes Bonamassa's sound unique in the blues world. His sound is expansive, rich with texture and emotion. At times, it sounds more like Pink Floyd than Robert Johnson. As rich and lush as his music has become, it is always driven by some of the finest blues guitar work this planet knows. It seems that a blues man can venture from the crossroads without leaving them behind.