Joe Bonamassa: "It’s easy to play marginally good blues. It’s very difficult to play great blues"

(Image credit: Joby Sessions)

Best of 2019: “I’m very honored about the best blues guitarist readers’ poll, because it’s the fans that have put me here time and time again,” Joe Bonamassa says, then lets out a laugh. “Because I didn’t do much to help myself!”

Bonamassa is being needlessly self-deprecating, because if there’s one thing that’s been clear since he was a preteen blues phenomenon who went by the name Smokin’ Joe, Bonamassa knows his way around a Les Paul… and a Strat… and a Tele… and, truthfully, every one of the literally hundreds of guitars he owns.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.