“What makes a great blues player is taking on influences that aren’t blues-based”: Joe Bonamassa explains why the best guitarists always look beyond the blues

Joe Bonamassa plays a Gibson Les Paul Standard onstage at the Fox Theater, MI
(Image credit: Scott Legato/Getty Images)

Joe Bonamassa has long been a modern-day pillar of the blues and all its offshoots, as he rarely adheres to one genre sector. 

Bonamassa himself would tell you that his amalgamated blues is the key, which is why Total Guitar readers recently named him the third greatest blues guitarist of all time, just behind Stevie Ray Vaughan and B.B. King.

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.