Few people in history could put on a blues show like B.B. King. It seems like the blues world may now be on the precipice of recognizing that Joe Bonamassa is in that league.
In commemoration of the legacy of B.B. King, Joe has been nominated for a Blues Music Award in the category of the “B.B. King Entertainer” coupled with a nomination in the “Instrumentalist – Guitar” category. The B.B. King Awards are given to musicians who has "best represented and promoted the blues" through their studio and live work over the period of eligibility. Some of the previous and illustrious winners of the B.B. King Entertainer Award include Texas blues guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan, the “Iceman” Mr. Albert Collins, and other luminaries.
For Joe, being nominated for the B.B. King Entertainer Award is an incredible honor on multiple levels. For starters, the Blues Music Awards are commonly – some even say universally – held to be the highest honors in the blues.
Part of what makes the Blues Music Awards so special is that they are largely voted on by devout music fans rather than just industry insiders. These are truly awards of the people, blues fans of the world. So to be nominated as the best entertainer of the year by blues fans is a most humbling honor to Joe that he truly appreciates.
What makes this even more special, is Joe’s connection with B.B. King. King was Joe’s mentor when Joe was just a young kid with a guitar and a blues dream. B.B. taught Joe so much about what it means to be an entertainer, a guitarist, and a bluesman.
The award itself – and B.B. King’s importance to the blues – go far beyond the common notion of an “entertainer.” The award is given to the person who best represents and promotes the blues as an art form. For many people, and of course Joe, B.B. King is the absolute embodiment of that spirit.
Joe has spent the last few years deepening his connection to blues history even further. He has undertaken a series of tours that have paid tribute to his blues forefathers, the masters that have come before him. Giants of the field like Muddy Waters. Howlin’ Wolf. Eric Clapton. Jimmy Page. And, of course, B.B. King.
This year, Joe is taking his captivating show out on the road again. Joe will likely be focusing on his own storied repertoire of blues material rather than making this a tribute tour. But Joe’s channeling of the spirit of the blues promises to be more exciting and musically enthralling than ever before.
It promises to be an amazing tour. Don’t miss it.