Saturday, May 17, 2014

I Survived a Joe Bonamassa Concert

 
Joe Bonamassa 5/16/14 Hampton Beach, NH
 
 
Hi All,

A co-worker and I took yesterday off from work and went on a road trip to Hampton Beach, NH to catch Joe Bonamassa in concert. 

Unfortunately, my camera failed miserably but then again I was third row center and the memories of lasts night show are not going to fade anytime soon.  I think my photos could be labled "An Ode to JJ Abrams" because of the lense flare except mine aren't as pretty.  (If you don't get the joke ask a Star Trek fan).

The photo I put up does have an interesting flare to it but then there's something a little extra.  Do you see what is behind Joe on the left?  If so, leave a comment or send an email. I'm curious if you all see what I see.

It was my first time seeing Joe in concert and as a bonus I met him too!  It was brief but I met the man, shook his hand, had my photo taken with him and spoke a little. He was very nice and humble.

There was some humor in the show too.  Lenny Castro must be the life of the party.  The poor guy broke one of his sticks during a solo, shrugged and kept going! The audience was behind him because he was so non-chalant about it.  We were laughing and so was he.

Gerry O'Connor was so serious at the start of the acoustic set but then he was making faces with the front row which was funny.  Between him and Lenny it was a sight to see and the thing was it didn't detract from show at all.  It was a clear indication of how well these guys get along and what chemistry they have together on stage.  Joe had some lines in the show which had the audience rolling and I loved the fact that he wore a suit with sneakers.  Both the acoustic and electric bands were amazing.  They were a well oiled machine and fed over each other so easily.

I have admitted before that I don't play a guitar and I haven't a clue about chords and a lot of the technical aspects of playing.  I just know what I like when I hear a guitar.  My favorite guitar player list is rather short and Joe is on the list.  All guitar players are not created equal and I think what I enjoy most about Joe is his willingness to explore music and evolve it, whether it's his own or a song by someone else.  Some of the songs in his catalogue have at least four different versions.

Joe's passion for music is very evident if you watch him play. The past comes with him to the present.  Some people don't get that from him but sometimes you need to listen with your soul and not your ears. I think I may have mentioned Joe's foundation before but I'm going to mention the Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation again.  A lot of schools cut music programs which is unfortuante and Joe's Foundation tries to give schools the resources it needs so kids can continue to be enriched by music.  Music is a universal language, it is something we all understand no matter the genre.

Okay, that's it for me.  I'm off to crash a bit as I didn't get any sleep last night.  I swear the concert moved to my hotel.  If you're going to be rowdy then it might as well be due Joe Bonamassa.

Rock on!
~Maynard

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Little Stuff

Hi All,

My full-time job is in super busy mode and I won't see a lull again until about October or November.  It's full throttle for the rest of the year.

I have been trying to craft my book blurb which is proving to be more difficult than writing the book! I've have managed to write 16 different blurbs and none of them quite work.  I may need to take a little from each one to get what I'm after.  It certainly wouldn't be the first time I've had to piece things together.

I'm still stuck on finding a cover for my book.  The issue is that the story I have crafted can be approached from many different avenues.  There is one overall story but focusing on that for the cover in my mind detracts from everything else.  There is a lot going on with my main character  so finding the right cover that represents the journey is important.

While my story lingers in my mind and another edit looms ahead of me my thoughts have been focused on a mini-road trip with a co-worker.  Six days from now I will be sitting in Hampton Beach, NH listening to the amazing guitar sounds of Joe Bonamassa for an evening. I will be watching him share his craft with an audience of blues/rock fans and guitar enthusiasts.

I am not a fan of Blues music. It's not for lack of trying and listening but I can't get into most of it.  Joe blends his love of the blues in a way that appeals to these ears that have grown up listening to Def Leppard and Megadeth for 30 years.  He guitar playing appeals to me too which is why I am a fan.  It's due to Joe that I've delved into Free, early Whitesnake (pre-Tawny Kittan dancing on the car years) and then rediscovered Rory Gallagher, Peter Frampton and Gary Moore. 

Paul Rodgers is an amazing singer but we all knew that, right kids? After listening to the Free album I recently bought I started to think it would be cool to have Paul Rodgers, David Coverdale, Robert Plant and Roger Daltrey sing on an album together or do a concert.  That would be one hell of a show!

So in honor of Mr. Rodgers (won't you be my neighbor?) being an awesome singer, please enjoy him having a good time with Joe Bonamassa, an awesome guitar player doing the Free song "Walk In My Shadow" from the Beacon Theatre in 2012.

Rock On!
~Maynard