Following the May 21st release of Joe Bonamassa’s critically acclaimed 13th solo album Driving Towards The Daylight, which is currently #2 in the UK’s official album chart, the renowned guitarist will perform a series of four significant London concerts that chronicles his rise from playing the intimate Borderline to the prestigious Royal Albert Hall.
Blues rock fans will be able to purchase tickets to see Joe perform at four different London venues including The Borderline (March 26), Shepherd’s Bush Empire (March 27), HMV Hammersmith Apollo (March 28) and the Royal Albert Hall (March 30).
For those fans that purchase a special VIP ticket, this will enable them to attend all four concerts including admission to see Bonamassa perform an intimate concert at the Borderline in London on Tuesday 26th March 2013.
The rare Borderline concert is restricted to a limited run of 200 tickets, and will showcase Joe’s atmospheric rise to the top of the guitar world, in an intimate and a reduced capacity setting of this famous London West End venue where it all began for the critically acclaimed blues rock guitarist.
Now’s your chance to get up close and personal in London with Joe Bonamassa at what is being hailed as “The Guitar Event of the Year.”
Joe will perform all four of his London concerts with his touring band that features the talents of Carmine Rojas (bass), Rick Melick (keyboards) and Tal Bergman (drums).
Recently, I had the opportunity to interview the man behind the brush, world-renowned artist and owner of Creative Bone Artworks, Tom Noll.
We had a great time talking guitars, painting, Harley’s, Les Paul and life.
Here is the transcript:
What is life like for you on an average day?
Well, waking up is a good start. I never take a day for granted and I fill it with creativity. I’m always envisioning what I can transfer from brain to canvas, and how I can best capture my subject. A long ride on the Harley is always a good brainwave session.
How long have you been painting “professionally”?
My oil painting has only been the last 4 1/2 years. I’ve worked in the design and advertising world for 32 yrs., and after a serious health scare decided to start my Creative Bone Artworks and create a vibrant body of work to leave behind.
The Freeman Newspaper, November 21, 2009
What made you choose Rock-n-Rollers and Guitar Players as your painting subjects? I mean…have you ever painted a picture of a barn in a wheat field? Starting out with fluid watercolors in the late 70’s, I painted the barns and landscapes and did the art fair circuit on the weekends. Recently, I painted the large 8’ x 9’ Bob Marley on request from a client and fell in love with the energy. Now, I live for the positive response to my work, and the happiness that I see it brings to others.
Is it your goal to one day meet the person that you painted? You know, the “artist” meets the “artist” kind of thing? Have you been able to meet anyone that you painted?
Yeah, its always great to meet that person after you’ve spent weeks looking into their psyche to discover what moves them, to bring them to life on the canvas. One such situation was my fortunate meeting with Les Paul, and hanging with him for an afternoon.
Were you able to show him your work? What did he think?
Oh yeah. He was very humbled and he signed several prints and the original oil painting. Its one thing to nail his image, but then you have to get his ax right. With Les Paul…talk about pressure! We used the painting as the backdrop to his book signing that day, and I gave him the framed print #1. He was thrilled! Ultimately, the image filled the front of the local newspaper on the day he was laid to rest.
Tom Noll painting Les Paul
You know when you can put a guys image on his fan’s living room wall for that constant recognition, who wouldn’t be pleased with all that that brings.
I keep missing Joe (Bonamassa) at his shows, and twice friends have delivered images to him for me. Once in Milwaukee, before I had painted him, he was shown what I was planning to do with him in that cool gold lame suit, and then after it was done, he saw an image of it finished in LA and he approved and signed a photo print to me. I’d had a “Name the Painting” contest with his fans going at the time, and I was told Joe wanted to submit an entry, but, well…he’s a busy guy.
Tell me about your guitars! When did you start playing?
I started on a Fender Squire, but I was really challenged and it didn’t even feel right. Then one day I said to myself, “well ya dumb &#%&, you’re lefty handed. So I flipped it over and restrung it, ala Jimi style…and immediately I sounded exactly like him…ha, ha!
Les Paul Signing
Do you have a favorite axe?
Well, the Squire is now retired on the wall, graced with a Joe Satriani signature, and I’ve purchased 4 lefty guitars. I’ve got an electric acoustic guitar, a Martin Backpacker for on the Harley, a Custom Tele, but the Les Paul is probably my fav.
Tom, you have painted an amazing list of past and present musicians. How do you go about choosing who will be on the easel next?
You know, I’m pretty approachable, and often its by request…and if the subject is someone I’m passionate about, I’m off and running. I’ve also done my fair share of custom paintings for clients that the public never sees.
Most guitar players will play guitar well into the late stages of their lives. What about painters? How long do you see this creative drive staying alive in you?
Hmmm…I’m guessing the lifestyle of a musician is a bit more “late night” than mine. If they can hang in there, I’ll be right behind them with my brush. Then, as with the late Gary Moore, now that he’s passed, its my obligation to capture his spirit forever.
Other than painting and playing guitar, does Tom Noll have any other passions?
Ha, ha…step into my garage!
SPOILER ALERT: Sample clips on unreleased music below… if you are not into cutting edge blues rock, don’t click to listen!
Regular readers of TheGuitarBuzz.com know that Joe Bonamassa is a favorite around here and his recently announced 13th album, “Driving Towards the Daylight” is the perfect example of why.
Joe Bonamassa - Driving Towards the Daylight
Producer Keven Shirley first teamed with Joe Bonamassa to release “You and Me” back in 2006 making “Driving Toward the Daylight” their seventh collaboration in as many years.
Their time together has proven to be a marriage made in blues heaven as they continue to push the evolution of blues rock to new and higher levels.
As expected, this CD highlights Bonamassa’s signature style of blues, roots, and rock & roll. There is plenty of old and plenty of new. The old feels new and the new feels newer. It includes four “Bon-originals” and seven cover songs.
Shirley wanted to pull more out of Bonamassa and did so by bringing in a stellar group of session players the likes of Aerosmith’s Brad Whitford and son Harrison Whitford on guitar, Anton Fig on drums, Arlan Schierbaum on keyboards, Michael Rhodes on bass and Jeff Bova and The Bovaland Brass on horns.
The track list is well balanced, starting off with Bonamassa’s own “Dislocated Boy”, a power-filled-rocker that will hopefully make the set lists on Joe’s summer/fall tour. The hard driving beat is a perfect opening track and sets the stage for what lies ahead.
[LISTEN TO A PREVIEW OF "DISLOCATED BOY"]
Next, Joe covers Robert Johnson’s “Stones In My Passway”, and demonstrates yet again that “The Blues Ain’t Dead” by taking a 75-year-old blues roots classic and transforming it to the Zeppelin age. According to Joe, the song was Kevin’s idea – which certainly explains the vibe!
[LISTEN TO A PREVIEW OF "STONES IN MY PASSWAY"]
The title-track follows and illustrates Joe’s talent going well beyond six-strings — to the pen — as Joe releases his creativity on one of his strongest authoring’s yet. The lyrics pull you in and the melody holds you there…
Here is the official “Driving Towards the Daylight” video:
The entire “Driving Towards The Daylight” track is available as a free download here.
“Who’s Been Talkin” is a Howling Wolf cover that’s one of my favorites. Starting with a clip of Wolf’s actual voice, Joe rips into the main riff and turns the listener back once again to the roots. It’s also has that Zepp’ish-like feeling with a melody that just sticks in your gut.
[LISTEN TO A PREVIEW OF "WHO'S BEEN TALKIN"]
The Bluesy trend continues with a cover of Willie Dixon’s “I Got All You Need”, It’s a tune that Joe refers to as a “Greasy Chicago Shuffle”…with a 60′s British flair. Lot’s of fun with this one!
“Joe does Whitesnake” with Bernie Marsden’s “A Place In My Heart” and adds enough emotion to make you believe Gary Moore has come back to record one more song. Close you eyes and get lost in the tribute. I sure did.
[LISTEN TO A PREVIEW OF "A PLACE IN MY HEART"]
The gears shift back to blues-rock with a killer version of Bill Withers “Lonely Town Lonely Street”. About half-way through the song you realize there is only one chord being played…attribute that to Shirley’s magic on the board.
“Heavenly Soul” shows off Bonamassa’s well matured (he just celebrated his 35th birthday) vocals. For a guy that at one time did not want to sing…he’s come a long way.
Next up is Tom Waits’ “New Coat Of Paint” with the massive guitar solo we have come to expect from Joe… and he does not disappoint.
“Somewhere Trouble Don’t Go” is an upbeat and Rockish version of an original Gospel tune with awesome lyrics. Let me say it now…this guy can turn any song into a blues-rock masterpiece!
The surprise closing track is the Australian rock singer Jimmy Barnes classic, “Too Much Ain’t Enough Love” featuring Jimmy Barnes himself on vocals. The blending of Jimmy’s vocals and Joe’s Les Paul chops are seamless.
Recent attendees of Joe’s concerts have heard Joe’s jokes about not having a hit record after 12 albums and 140+ tracks – which is frankly, utter blastpheme.
Most of us have our own definition of what makes a hit record (which differs greatly from the music industry rules). For me, a hit is simply defined as a song I can’t wait to play again. Using that criteria, Joe Bonamassa has a lot of hits…. 11 of them on this record alone.
“Driving Towards the Daylight” will be released on Monday, May 22nd by Provogue Records.