The American blues rocker, guitar player and singer has released a new Christmas song and video, “Lonesome Christmas,” just in time for the holidays. Although a blues song, it’s upbeat with a strong melodic hook, not to mention a blues solo burning with ice-melting excitement — fitting for a Christmas song.
The song is available as a free download currently, but for every individual download of “Lonesome Christmas” from now through Christmas Day, Bonamassa will donate to the Keeping the Blues Alive (KTBA) foundation. KTBA is a non-profit that Bonamassa founded in 2011. It promotes learning of blues music heritage, funding for music scholarships and music education programs to offset those lost by public education cost-cutting.
Check out the song and video, below.
Video: Joe Bonamassa – Lonesome Christmas – Official Music Video
Blues Man Bonamassa
Born in the town of Utica, NY, musical prodigy Joe Bonamassa had a burning desire to play the blues when he was as young as four years old. Inspired by Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix, Bonamassa wanted not only to be a great blues electric guitar player but a great vocalist as well. He made a guest appearance with B.B. King when he was only eight years old. By the time he was 12 he was on the regular blues touring circuit in upstate New York.
Bonamassa’s real career began when, as a teenager, he joined the hard-edged blues rock band Bloodline, which released an album, The Bloodline, in 1994. The name of the band derived from the fact that three of the five members were the sons of famous musicians — drummer Erin Davis was sired by Miles Davis, guitar player Waylon Krieger is the son of The Doors’ guitarist Robbie Krieger. Electric bassist Berry Oakley, Jr. is the progeny of the late, great Allman Brothers bass player. Although he isn’t part of a rock bloodline, Bonamassa nevertheless came to be regarded as the band’s greatest talent.
In the year 2000 Bonamassa released his debut solo album, A New Day Yesterday, named for an early Jethro Tull song that he covers, brilliantly, on the record. (Before they became pioneers of progressive rock, Tull were known as blues virtuosos.) On this album, Bonamassa proved that he is just too musically gifted to be cut back and sharply boxed in as another traditional bluesman. His powerful vocals sound like those of some seasoned, middle-aged blues singer although he was just 22 years old at the time of recording A New Day Yesterday. His guitar burns and wails with both technical brilliance and sheer ferocity.
In 2010, Bonamassa and legendary blues, soul and hard rock vocalist and bass player Glenn Hughes, formerly of Deep Purple, formed the band Black Country Communion. The band name alludes both to the heavily industrialized, polluted West Midlands regions of England, which have spawned so many great English rock and blues artists, and the fact that the musical genre known as “the blues” is, at root, black American music. Hughes and Bonamassa were joined by drummer Jason Bonham, son of Led Zeppelin’s late drummer John Bonham, and keyboard virtuoso Derek Sherinian (who, despite his super-advanced chops, mostly remained in the background on the group’s songs). In this acclaimed hard rock band, Hughes delivered most of the lead vocals.
Bonamassa has always been and continues to be prolific and involved in numerous musical projects. If you haven’t given him a thorough listen, now’s the time.