This American blues and jazz guitarist has played with many top musicians including B.B King, Glenn Hughes and Beth Hart in his enviable career. The talented live performer will be in town to promote his new solo album—his 13th release—Driving Towards the Daylight. He talks to Chin Hui Wen about his improved vocals, being a late bloomer and his favorite guitar.
What’s different about your new album Driving Towards The Daylight?
I think I’m singing better on this album. Years on the road and all those singing lessons are paying off.
This is your 13th album. How do you feel about that? Are you superstitious?
I haven’t even thought about it. All I know is that it’s my biggest album and I think the best. Only took me 13 tries to get it right... I feel like a late bloomer.
Who are your biggest influences?
B.B. King, Paul Kossoff and Eric Clapton are pretty much tied for first.
Who would you like to work with next?
I would love to work with Mark Knopfler or Joe Walsh one day. Walsh’s a personal hero who I have never met.
You have quite a collection of guitars. Which is your favorite?
My favorite guitar is a Gibson Les Paul Standard 9-1951, made in 1959. Unfortunately, I don’t bring any of the old ones abroad due to airline restrictions.
What do you want audiences to take away from the concert?
I want audiences to feel they got their money’s worth—enjoying the great sound and not realizing two hours just flew by.
Joe Bonamassa plays on September 17 at the Esplanade Concert Hall.