Exciting news in Joe Bonamassa Land – Joe was recently named the top Billboard Blues Artist of the Year and Different Shades of Blue was named the #1 Blues Album of the Year! It’s wonderful to see Joe be recognized by the music community as a leader in the genre. Sometimes it feels like Joe is our little secret, and that’s fun too, but there’s something special about seeing your favorite artists recognized by the broader music community and public. So it makes me very happy indeed to see Joe get this delightful recognition.
Earning Grammy nominations, as Joe did last year for his collaborative album SeeSaw with Beth Hart, and landing on the top spot of highly respected music lists is, of course, great for Joe and his fan base. But even if he hadn’t found himself in that very prestigious position, I would still highly value the whole process and business of giving awards and creating lists that recognize artistic value. Because it’s not just great for the individual artists named as nominees and as winners, but also for the genre as a whole.
As fans of blues and blues-rock, it often feels like our niche is all but completely drowned out by the likes of the day’s hottest pop stars. It’s pop that seems to dominate music headlines, radio, and social media every which way you turn. But this music that we love isn’t just amazing; it’s also extremely important. The blues is an integral landmark in American culture and history, and it’s important to keep this music alive not just in our memory, but in actuality; to keep it vibrant and thriving.
Things like Grammy awards and Billboard Lists help to do that. They recognize that, hey, we’re still here, participating in this incredible music scene, listening to albums and going to concerts, truly all playing a part in helping to perpetuate this phenomenal music. And these honors notify us that the music industry is still paying attention and thinks there’s something important about our genre, worth continuing to recognize and talk about.
Luckily for us, Joe is a constant reminder that the blues is very much alive in our day and age. And we know how important that is. Happily, we’re not the only ones. So thanks music industry, for playing your part in keeping the blues alive. And congratulations once again to Joe Bonamassa on this outstanding achievement in Billboard Magazine.