CLEARWATER — Two-time Grammy-nominated guitarist Joe Bonamassa will perform Monday, March 29, 8 p.m., at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater.
Tickets for the special socially-distanced power trio performance are only available in pairs. Please select two seats when choosing your location. Tickets start at $137. At this time, capacity at the venue is being limited to 50%. To purchase tickets, visit www.rutheckerdhall.com.
The blues-rock guitar icon returns to Ruth Eckerd Hall after two sold-out performances in 2020. This is the first time Bonamassa has performed in a power trio live in almost 20 years. Hailed worldwide as one of the greatest guitar players of his generation, Bonamassa has almost single-handedly redefined the blues-rock genre and brought it into the mainstream.
For most musicians, opening for blues legend B.B. King would be the pinnacle moment of their career. But for Bonamassa, who shared the stage with King in 1989 when he was all of 12 years old, it was only the start.
Since then, Bonamassa has established himself as one of the premier guitar virtuosos of his generation, and he has also distinguished himself as an incisive and compelling songwriter, a gutsy and soulful vocalist, as well as one of the most popular touring and recording artists around, averaging over 100 sold-out shows worldwide each year while amassing a body of work that spreads the already deep waters of the blues-rock form.
“Royal Tea,” Bonamassa’s latest album, was recorded at Abbey Road Studios. The 10 tracks reconnect the 43-year-old bandleader with the guitar-slinging kid from upstate New York who stumbled across Jeff Beck Group’s “Let Me Love You,” John Mayall’s “Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton” and Cream’s “Disraeli Gears” in his dad’s vinyl collection — and promptly swore a lifelong blood oath to the British blues.
“I would have been about 12 years old, and it was the sound I heard in my head,” Bonamassa said in a Big Hassle press release promoting the new album. “Like, ‘OK, I’m in. That’s what I want to be.’ If I had a time machine, I’d have been born in ’46, turned 20 in ’66 — and come here, to London.”
Since his 2000 debut, “A New Day Yesterday,” that founding influence has stayed close to the surface of Bonamassa’s 14 solo album catalogue. Yet he’s always let his choice of studio infuse his work, whether stirring the vibe of the Greek island of Santorini into 2010’s “Black Rock,” placing his bets on Sin City for 2014’s Vegas-tracked “Different Shades of Blue,” or working with the cream of Nashville on 2016’s “Blues of Desperation.”
“Where you record an album leaves a fingerprint on the music,” Bonamassa explained. “This album is a snapshot, too.”
The following protocols are currently in place due to the pandemic:
• Appropriate face coverings are required for all persons inside the facility, no exceptions.
• All persons will be screened for prohibited items and elevated temperatures above 100.4 degrees using contactless technology.
• The facility will be deep sanitized before the show.
• Hand sanitizer stations will readily available. Anyone in need of an attendant with cleaning supplies should ask a staff member.
• Weather permitting, food and beverage service will be offered outdoors.
• Please cooperate with all social distancing measures in place on the day of event.
• All persons are expected to contact the theater for a refund if they experience flu-like symptoms or have been exposed to someone with symptoms within the prior 14 days, unless they have received medical clearance.
For information on Ruth Eckerd Hall’s safety protocols, visit www.rutheckerdhall.com/facility-safety-protocols.