Joe Bonamassa stays busy with "Afterglow," "Daylight"
Blues singer-guitarist Joe Bonamassa is a busy man. He has set off on a lengthy tour in support of his 13th solo album, "Driving Towards the Daylight." He's also doing interviews to push Black Country Communion's third studio collection, "Afterglow," while planning a summer jaunt with fellow musician Beth Hart.
But he's able to balance it all just fine. For starters, Black Country Communion -- a supergroup that includes singer-bassist Glenn Hughes, keyboardist Derek Sherinian and drummer Jason Bonham -- doesn't take up much time. "Afterglow" took only five to seven days to record. It hits stores Oct. 30.
"None of us got into this gig thinking it was going to be a full-time job," Bonamassa said. "If they think that now, they obviously have a selective memory."
"Afterglow's" "fast and furious" recording process made it a tolerable project, Bonamassa explained. He compared it to pulling a Band-Aid off a scab.
"I wouldn't do it a different way," he said. "There were five guys -- [producer] Kevin Shirley included -- all throwing in ideas. Glenn would bring in stems of tunes, before we knew it, we had a hootenanny.
"Kevin has the final say of the final arrangements. So we kind of yield to him. It's really a five-way split on everything we've ever done. "
On the album, however, Sherinian has more space to play. The Dream Theater keyboardist had a bit of trepidation at first.
"He comes from a different school than Glenn, Jason and I. Derek comes from a much higher place in his way of playing," Bonamassa said.
"In the first couple CDs, he struggled with his role in the band as far as sonically, where he would fit. It wasn't until the tour last summer that he embraced it, 'Here I am.' He always kicks ass."
The project may have been done quickly, but Bonamassa said "Afterglow" shouldn't be judged by that.
"It happened so fast but honestly and truth be told, I think this is a good record," he said. "It's not my favorite one. My first one is my favorite one. A lot of people I've spoken to say they enjoy this more. I've heard more times than not, 'I think this one is the strongest one.' At the end of it, I think the songs are strong. But if I look back on the catalog, the first album is stronger but there are some real gems here."
Black Country Communion fans shouldn't, however, count on a tour in support of "Afterglow." Sherinian is out with Billy Idol and Bonham has Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience. Hughes "goes out and plays gigs in the U.K. and Russia, whatever."
Bonamassa is spending the next year on the road in support of "Driving Towards the Daylight," which he said debuted at No. 20 on the Billboard chart. More than half of the live show is comprised of tracks from the collection.
"They're going down like gangbusters," he said. "That's a good sign. But I have to contend with the fact that there are certain songs like 'Mountain Time, 'The Ballad of John Henry' and 'Sloe Gin' that I have to play. I like to keep it fresh, not just be a carbon copy."
The album features Aerosmith's Brad Whitford on guitar, a move that flattered Bonamassa. He met Whitford through his sons, whom he described as "really awesome guitar players."
"He was nice enough to come to Vegas and be on the album," he said. "I was thrilled to have a bona fide rock star, master musician in the studio with me. Brad's just cool, man."
30 - Dallas, TX - The Music Hall at Fair Park
1 - Tulsa, OK - Brady Theater
2 - Kansas City, MO - Kansas City Music Hall
3 - St. Louis, MO - Fabulous Fox Theatre
6 - Merrillville, IN - Star Plaza Theatre
7 - Fort Wayne, IN - Embassy Theatre
9 - Cincinnati, OH - Taft Theatre
10 - Columbus, OH - Palace Theatre
13 - Toledo, OH - Stranahan Theater
14 - Youngstown, OH - Ford Family Recital Hall
16 - Rochester, NY - Auditorium Theatre
17 - Toronto, Ontario - Roy Thomson Hall
20 - Springfield, MA - Symphony Hall
23 - Greenvale, NY - Tilles Center for the Performing Arts
24 - Washington, D.C. - Warner Theatre
27 - Charleston, WV - Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences
28 - Durham, NC - Durham Performing Arts Center
30 - Columbus, GA - RiverCenter
1 - Biloxi, MS - Mississippi Coast Coliseum
3 - Greenville, SC - Peace Center Concert Hall
5 - Montgomery, AL - Montgomery Performing Arts Centre
7 - Tallahassee, FL - Tallahassee-Leon Co. Civic Center
9 - Jacksonville, FL - Florida Theatre
10 - Orlando, FL - Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre
11 - Melbourne, FL - King Center for Performing Arts
13 - Hollywood, FL - Seminole Hard Rock Live
15 - Estero, FL - Germain Arena
26 - London, England - Borderline
27 - London, England - O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
28 - London, England - HMV Hammersmith Apollo
30 - London, England - Royal Albert Hall
10 - Vancouver, British Columbia - Orpheum
12 - Seattle, WA - Paramount Theatre
13 - Portland, OR - Keller Auditorium
15 - Eugene, OR - Hult Center for Performing Arts
17 - Sacramento, CA - Memorial Auditorium
18 - San Jose, CA - San Jose Civic
20 - Las Vegas, NV - Pearl Concert Theater
21 - Phoenix, AZ - Comerica Theatre
23 - Denver, CO - Wells Fargo Theatre
26 - Minneapolis, MN - The State Theatre
27 - Milwaukee, WI - Riverside Theatre
30 - Rockford, IL - Coronado Performing Arts Center
1 - Chicago, IL - Chicago Theatre
3 - Detroit, MI - Fox Theatre
4 - London, Ontario - Budweiser Gardens
6 - Rama, Ontario - Casino Rama Entertainment Centre
8 - Montreal, Quebec - St. Denis Theatre 1
10 - Boston, MA - Wang Theatre - Citi Performing Arts Center
11 - Albany, NY - Palace Theatre
13 - Philadelphia, PA - The Liacouras Center
14 - Baltimore, MD - Hippodrome Theatre/France-Merrick Performing Arts Center
17, 18 - New York City, NY - Beacon Theatre