The Blues Soul Of Paul Rodgers

One of Joe Bonamassa’s favorite musicians isn’t a guitarist at all, but a singer: Paul Rodgers. Paul Rodgers is most famous for the classic-rock radio staple ‘All Right Now’ with Free and a slew of major hits with Bad Company. Joe first got truly acquainted with his music when he auditioned for UFO and was asked to learn some old Free tunes off a cassette. Since then, he’s been a huge fan of Rodgers as a singer, a songwriter and even tambourine player. Today on the Pickup, Joe talks about Paul Rodgers’s blues soul and what he’s learned from watching him in action.

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My Life As An Opening Act (II)

Life isn’t always easy when you’re the opening act – or ‘support’ in music biz jargon. You have to have an appetite for adventure, a dose of humility and an exceptional sense of humor. On this week’s episode, Joe Bonamassa recounts stories from his days on the road as an opening act. You’ll hear how the low-key Doobie Brothers helped Joe discover the benefits of acoustic baffles, how Styx used busted amps to great dramatic effect and the culinary joys of the House of Blues in Chicago.

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Danny Gatton

For many people, Danny Gatton is a guitar hero. He could play his Telecaster faster, cleaner and more creatively than just about anyone, seamlessly weaving together everything from country to jazz and more. But to Joe Bonamassa, Danny was more than an icon: he was a friend and teacher. On this episode of the Pickup, Joe talks about his relationship with Danny, their shared love for vintage Americana and what makes his guitar playing so influential even today.

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Best Blues Of The 80s!

Nostalgia for the 1980s is everywhere these days, especially in music. What’s easy to forget when looking back on those years is that blues artists had some bona fide hits. Nestled in between the Michael Jackson, Madonna and Human League music videos on MTV, were a handful of songs with direct roots in the blues and tremendous guitar playing. Joe and Matt are both old enough to remember those days first hand and indulge in a bit of their own 80s nostalgia with five of their favorite blues-infused tracks.

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Wolf Tracks

If you’ve been to a Joe Bonamassa concert recently, you’ve heard a haunting voice come through the PA and explain how to play a calypso beat – just before Joe and the band launch into “Who’s Been Talkin.'” That voice belongs to blues legend Howlin’ Wolf. Today Joe and Matt salute Howlin’ Wolf and the unfiltered humanity he brought to the blues. And this summer Joe is taking his love of Howlin’ Wolf to a new level: on August 31, Joe will play a tribute to Wolf and Muddy Waters at Red Rocks Ampitheatre, just outside Morrison, Colorado.

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Blues In The Royal Albert Hall

It’s been exactly five years since Joe Bonamassa’s triumphal performance at the Royal Albert Hall. The DVD from that concert has gone platinum. This week on the Pickup, Joe and Matt look back at the history of blues and blues-rock at London’s best-known theater. You’ll hear about the first blues musician to play there, Big Bill Broonzy, as well as the guitarist who’s performed there more than anyone, Eric Clapton, and what was going through Joe’s head when Clapton joined him onstage.

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Five Guitarists, One Song

The blues can be a blank canvas. You have a rough frame – the three basic chords – but then you are free to do whatever your imagination (and chops!) allow. On this episode, Joe and Matt prove the point by exploring how five different guitarists have played the same song, “The Stumble.” You’ll start by listening to Freddie King’s original and then wind your way through the sounds that other guitarists, guitars and gear have given the tune over the years.

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