Joe Bonamassa Brings Blues Rock To Fresno


Photo by: David Chavez

Joe Bonamassa performing live at William Saroyan Theater in downtown Fresno, Calif. on Wednesday, April 27, 2016.

Guitar virtuoso Joe Bonamassa performed at the William Saroyan Theater in downtown Fresno, proving that Blues Rock is more than alive and well.

His latest album, “Blues of Desperation”, hit No. 5 in the Billboard Top 200 when it was released on March 25.

Bonamassa joked with the crowd at the April 27 concert that with a title of “Blues of Desperation”, it makes for a great holiday gift and would make an excellent stocking stuffer.

Insane guitar riffs and licks filled the auditorium as Bonamassa fit in solos that were sincerely sensational.

His way of playing takes you back in time, to a time when blues was at the forefront of the music industry.

Bay Area native Janet Shirley was in town visiting her brother and was planning on going back home when she saw billboard signs saying that Bonamassa was playing in Fresno.

“I heard [Bonamassa] last year at the Shoreline in Silicon Valley and I have to say, tonight’s performance was like 10 times better,” Shirley said.  “I don’t know if you could say ‘better’, I mean, he was just outstanding tonight.”

Shirley said she was amazed by the feedback from the crowd.

“The crowd was just incredible,” Shirley said.

Bonamassa’s band boasts some of the most talented musicians.

Trumpet player Lee Thornburg has been a member of bands like Supertramp and Tower of Power.

Saxophonist Paulie Cerra has toured and played with some of R&B’s biggest names like Stevie Wonder and Kirk Franklin.

Keyboardist Reese Wynans is a 2015 rock and roll hall of fame inductee for his work with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble. Wynans has also played with various country artists like Brooks & Dunn, Martina McBride and Hank Williams Jr.

Bassist Michael Rhodes has played with artists like Buddy Guy, Brian Wilson, Lady Antebellum and Emmylou Harris.

Drummer Anton Fig is most recognized for his 29 years of playing drums for the Late Show with David Letterman. He has recorded and played with many legendary artists such as James Brown, Eric Clapton, Miles Davis and B.B. King.

The crowd went wild when Bonamassa played hits like “This Train”, “No Good Place for the Lonely” and “Angel of Mercy”, to name a few.

The rainy concert day brought on more than just rain for Fresno. The guitar gods opened up the heavens and blessed the William Saroyan crowd with melodic masterpieces and eccentric electric blues.