Concert Reports


Joe Bonamassa

07/31/2021, Vina Robles Amphitheatre, Paso Robles


Joe Bonamassa, the two-time GRAMMY-nominated blues rock guitar icon brought his tour to the Vina Robles Amphitheatre on Saturday, July 31. JOE BONAMASSA’S RAW & VITAL EPIC NEW ROCK ANTHEM “NOTCHES” is out now which precedes his highly anticipated upcoming studio album.

All Photos: Gary Lambert          


The scene at the Vina Robles Amphitheatre in Paso Robles was electric as the venue hosted its first concert post pandemic with Blues Rock Guitar Icon, Joe Bonamassa. As of showtime only a handful of lawn seats were left for the 3300 seat venue as people flocked from all over California and beyond as concert goers were not only eager to get back to live music but also to witness the stellar guitar playing of Bonamassa who has been captivating audiences with his fretwork since he was 12 years old opening up for none other than B.B. King.

As rabid as the ecstatic fans were once the performance began no one in the amphitheatre seemed more grateful to be there than Bonamassa himself stating “After 17 months of quarantine and sitting in a rocking chair at home I was wondering if I would ever play another concert again, it's sure nice to be here at Vina Robles, Thank You Vina Robles," this led to thunderous applause from the audience.


Bonamassa is undoubtedly one of today's top live performers and a favorite of music lovers worldwide. Hailed internationally as one of the greatest guitar players of his generation and cited by Guitar World Magazine as “the world's biggest blues guitarist,” Bonamassa has almost single-handedly redefined the blues-rock genre and brought it into the mainstream.

Opening with his bluesy & rousing “Oh Beautiful,” Bonamassa & band tore through a thirteen song set that included crowd favorites “Lookout Man,” “I Didn’t Think She Would Do It,” and concluding with “Ballad of John Henry.”

The band returned to the stage for an encore that included “Woke Up Dreaming,” and ended the upbeat evening with a rip roaring version of Eric Clapton’s “Crossroads”








Blues rock artist Joe Bonamassa is back with a brand-new single from his highly anticipated upcoming album, due out later this year. “Notches” exemplifies the unwavering journey Joe has experienced while taking the road less traveled, ultimately leading him to find success. A bit older in years, but wiser in knowledge earned, his new sound has a raw and vital flavor, combined with a resolute skill that can only be gained through years of perseverance and unyielding dedication. The first single arrives today as a foot-stomping, fist-pounding dose of rock mastermind that pays homage to the artist’s resilient history, with an eye on the future as he continues to bend genres, break down walls and defy the odds of the music industry.

Joe belts out the Blues-tinged lyrics in “Notches” with a vocal range that gets even better with each release, diving deeper into his rock capabilities as he croons the resounding chorus, “I got miles under my wheels. Notches in my walkin’ cane.” He takes no prisoners with his hard-hitting anthem and holds nothing back, delivering a fresh unchartered sound that isn’t like anything he’s done before. The cinematically excellent official music video was directed by Paul van Kan.

For recording “Notches,” Bonamassa hit the studio with longtime collaborators Kevin Shirley as producer and manager/business partner Roy Weisman as executive producer. The track was mixed by Bob Clearmountain (Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Toto, Bon Jovi) and was co-written with Charlie Starr (Blackberry Smoke). Recorded in New York City at Germano Studios/The Hit Factory the band includes Steve Mackey (bass), Lachy Doley (piano), Bunna Lawrie (didgeridoo), Bobby Summerfield (percussion), and Late Night with David Letterman's Anton Fig (drums and percussion), along with Mahalia Barnes, Juanita Tippins, and Prinnie Stevens on backing vocals. The fantastic artwork on this single was created by famous graphic artist Hugh Syme (Rush, Aerosmith, Whitesnake).

The lyrics allude to Joe’s tenured uphill battle with the music industry. Looking back, he reflects, “Twenty years ago, I recorded a record of covers that eventually was called ‘Blues Deluxe.’ It was recorded at Bobby Nathan's studio in Manhattan. It captured an energy and purpose that always stuck with me as an artist…The music business is tough, very tough. Especially back in those days when major labels pulled all the strings and, in my case, all the punches.”

Now, maybe more than ever, Bonamassa holds the power of controlling both his artistry and his business in both hands. With 24 #1 albums, yearly sold-out tours worldwide and custom annual cruises, he’s a hard act to beat. Joe knows his worth, and albeit humble, he has no plans to back down now. “Notches” is a testament to his credentials. It’s Joe Bonamassa at his finest, ready to rock.

“Notches” is a song that begs to be heard live in an audience, banging loud from the speakers. Luckily for fans, this month Joe heads back out on tour for 42 shows, starting on the West Coast in the US at the end of this month, then traveling around the rest of the country throughout the fall season before taking the stage at sea for his sold out Keeping The Blues Alive At Sea VII cruise, sailing from Miami, FL to Ocho Rios, Jamaica on February 21-25, 2022, by way of the Norwegian Pearl. For tickets and full tour dates, visit


For everything Joe Bonamassa, visit his website at





As a professional musician for over 30 years, Joe Bonamassa continues to blaze a remarkably versatile artistic trail, and amass an authentic, innovative, and soulful body of work. Bonamassa's career began onstage opening for B.B. King in 1989 when he was only 12 years old. Today, he is hailed worldwide as one of the greatest guitar players of his generation and is an ever-evolving singer-songwriter with over 40 albums to date all under his own label, J&R Adventures.

Joe’s most recent album, “Now Serving: Royal Tea Live From The Ryman” is available now for streaming, CD, DVD and Blu-Ray. The DVD includes a film introduction narrated by actor Jeff Daniels. To order, visit The stellar performance from one of the world’s most legendary venues includes 12 incredible live tracks, featuring the best from his latest studio release Royal Tea, Joe’s 24th #1 record on the Billboard Blues chart, which was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London. It also includes 3 electrifying tracks from his 20th anniversary album A New Day Now. Joe is set to return to Ryman this October for two special nights kicking off his Fall US tour.

In addition to his music and shows, Joe continues to crank out weekly programming for his radio show “Different Shades Of Blue” for Sirius XM’s Bluesville channel. Last year, he kicked off a new at-home weekly video interview series “Live From Nerdville” which currently has over 50 episodes aired on his Facebook, YouTube, and podcast outlets. With a new episode each week, Joe has featured conversations with Neal Schon of Journey, John Oates of Hall & Oates, Glenn Hughes, Paul Stanley of Kiss, Warren Haynes, Keb’ Mo’, Walter Trout, Steve Lukather of Toto, Todd Rundgren, comedian Jeff Garlin, esteemed singer-songwriter Dion, Peter Frampton, Fantastic Negrito, and is currently booking new guests for his 3rd season.

Last summer, Bonamassa and his manager Roy Weisman debuted their new record label Keeping The Blues Alive Records by releasing music icon Dion’s critically acclaimed latest album Blues With Friends. In February 2021, KTBA Records released Chicago’s reigning Queen of Blues Guitar, Joanna Connor’s new album 4801 South Indiana Avenue, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Blues chart. Earlier this month KTBA Records released the new single “If That Ain’t A Reason” from Joanne Shaw Taylor’s upcoming new studio album. Stay tuned for future releases at



YouTube: /JoeBonamassaTV
Facebook: @JoeBonamassa
Instagram: @joebonamassa



About Vina Robles Amphitheatre

Welcome to the Vina Robles Amphitheatre, where European Inspiration meets California Character and the stars always shine. Here, two of California's great compositions meet, as exceptional wine and intimate live music are paired to create an unforgettable wine country experience.

The 3,300 seat boutique amphitheatre is nestled on a picturesque, oak-dotted hillside in Paso Robles on California's Central Coast. With its opening in the summer of 2013, the Vina Robles Amphitheatre became one of the largest outdoor venues for arts and entertainment in San Luis Obispo County. Featuring a style reminiscent of the California missions, guests are able to immerse themselves in a unique and intimate concert adventure as they enjoy modern amenities and first class hospitality. The concert season runs from May through November and features top tier acts from around the world in all genres. Various seating options all within 150 feet from the stage, including regular, VIP and general admission lawn seating, make events accessible to anyone in the community. We look forward to sharing our love of wine and the arts with you soon. For more information about the Vina Robles Winery, Click Here


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