Episodes

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Cream Rises To The Top

The recent passing of bassist Jack Bruce was a real loss for those of us who love blues and rock. Bruce was best known for his work in the power trio Cream. The band was only together for a short time, but in that brief span was able to chart a new course for combining blues, rock and psychedelia into a potent and loud mix. Today on the Pickup, Joe picks his favorite five Cream tracks, recalls playing a gig with Jack Bruce and explains how the band continues to influence his career as a musician.

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The Roots Of Blues Deluxe

Joe Bonamassa’s third studio album Blues Deluxe has been a longtime fan favorite. Packed with covers of blues standards and a few choice originals, it’s a record that marks Joe’s beginnings as an independent artist. Today on the Pickup, Joe and Matt look back on the album’s musical inspirations and the peculiar conditions of its creation: Joe and his manager scraping together enough money to rent studio time above a Sbarro’s, using borrowed gear and recycling a retouched photo from a previous album shoot.

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More Strat Masters

Everyone can agree that the Fender Stratocaster is one of the most popular and versatile electric guitars ever made. But once you start picking its best players, well, it seems that nobody can agree. After an initial attempt to pick the top 5 strat masters, Joe returns to the topic with Matt and they try to pick (another) top 5. See whether you agree with their choices!

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New Release Round Up

The new season is here and, with it, a fresh crop of new blues and guitar CDs. Joe and Matt may be curmudgeons, but they do appreciate new music and have picked out five recent albums to call to your attention. You’ll hear recordings from a recovering Walter Trout, Muddy Waters’s eldest son and a full track from Joe’s new album, Different Shades of Blue

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Guitar And The E.R.

Guitar players have to worry about their hands. Whether it’s in the kitchen or on the basketball court, there are lots of ways to get hurt in a way that could stop your career, or slow you down at the very least. But there are few legendary guitarists who have bounced back from serious injuries – even losing fingers! – and had amazingly successful careers. Today on the Pickup, Joe and Matt reflect on these triumphs over adversity and the miraculous hands of Django Reinhardt, Les Paul, Hound Dog Taylor, Jerry Garcia and Tony Iommi.

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Six Decades Alive In Europe

Just outside of Rotterdam, in a club called “The Borderline,” Joe Bonamassa played his first gig in Europe and found hundreds of fans there. That concert ten years ago gave Joe a small taste of the warm reception that the blues can get in Europe. European music fans have been more welcoming than their American counterparts and the live albums recorded there represent some of the most exciting records ever made. On this week’s edition of the Pickup, Joe and Matt survey six decades of live albums made in Europe that capture the energy and excitement that only live blues can deliver.

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Five Steps To Being A Guitar God

Today on the Pickup, Joe and Matt offer five easy steps to being a guitar god. And by steps, they mean things you literally would need to step on: five critical effects pedals that every budding guitar god should own….

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