Oregon Music News: Oregon’s all-genre music magazine since 2009


Joe Bonamassa - Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall - 11/27/2018 Photos and review


With a packed house, Joe Bonamassa gave an incredible performance at the Arlene Schnitzer on Tuesday night. Demonstrating his masterful technical skill, both on vocals, and guitar. He got his first guitar around five years old and began performing professionally as early as 11 years old. Known then as "Smoking Joey", he played with major Blues and Rock legends such as Steven Stills, Eric Clapton, and B.B. King.

Tuesday's concert in Portland, Oregon marked his 108th show out of 112 this year. With the last one ending in Vancouver B.C. A fan remarked after the show that Joe's performance shattered her expectations and is definitely checked off her bucket list. Most impressive were the unidentifiable sounds he could make with his guitar. Honestly, I've never heard such a sound before. And during a quiet guitar solo, you could almost hear a pin drop the audience was so captivated.

He played a plethora of vintage guitars over the course of the night. The two featured in this photo gallery area 1963 Fender Stratocaster Sunburst and a 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard AKA 'The Runt'. The stage was littered vintage Fender Tweed amps. A beautiful sight.

His charismatic personality showed through telling the audience a funny story about his early years touring through Portland. How an overzealous radio DJ asked to introduce Mr. Bonamassa to the stage. Proving he could say his last name 3X without stumbling...only to make this mistake. "Ladies and gentlemen...without further ado...introducing...JOHN BONAMASSA!! A punchline that circled back from some audience members throughout the night... giving a shout out to "John" Bonamassa.

Joe spoke highly about each of his touring bandmates. Introducing them with such clout. All talented and well known in the music business.
Anton Fig, with a huge session drummer career, played with big names like Bob Dylan, James Brown, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Miles Davis to name a few. Plus, he was in David Letterman's house band for 29 years.

Michael Rhodes on bass guitar was born from the Blues. He taught himself at a young age and has recorded with top country icons such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Mark Knopfler, Stevie Nicks, and Taylor Swift.

Reese Wynans on Keyboards with an equally impressive career. Played with Stevie Ray Vaughan for a handful of years. Also with country artists...Trisha Yearwood, Hank Williams Jr. and more. Wynans has played for blues artists Buddy Guy, John Mayall...the list goes on.
On trumpet the living legend himself, Lee Thornburg, who has toured with musicians Tom Petty, Ray Charles, Bonnie Raitt, Huey Lewis, and Rod Stewart.

Paulie Cerra on Sax and vocals for the night. He has the versatility of songwriting and plays the keys as well. Stevie Wonder, Billy Preston, and Jimmy Johnson are some top acts he's toured or recorded with.

Powerhouse Jade MacRae on vocals, born from a musical family. The daughter of Joy Yates, a respected sessions singer, and father Dave MacRae, a pianist. Jade harmonized beautifully with Blues singer/songwriter Mahalia Barnes, both out of Australia. Mahalia Barnes and the Soul Mates teamed up with Bonamassa in 2015 releasing an album of songs from The Betty Davis Songbook.

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Toni Chumbley

Amazing photos,,, I was there and loved all of it from the venue to the amazing talent! Your shots really show it!

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