Channel surfing in the dark hotel wasteland of a sleepless night last year, I discovered Joe Bonamassa performing "Midnight Blues". I have been listening to Live from New York - Beacon Theater almost daily since then. I know almost every note and nuance. Recognizing each familiar melody as Joe brought it to life on the small local stage, I marveled to myself, "What good fortune. What good fortune!" The music I had never heard before was simply more of a very good thing.
I bought tickets for myself and my family fully six months prior to the concert. Neither of my adult children had been impressed when I enthusiastically shared a song or two from my CD, so I knew they were going to simply be polite. My own anticipation was dampened by the fact that it might be a long night for my unenlightened family. Another concern was the fact that Joe has been on the road, literally all over the world, for the last two years. What if coming to Backwater, Kansas on a Thursday night, to a partially empty small theater, (plus the Westboro Baptist Church picketers out front), was an excuse to have an off night? Who would blame him? But, oh no - we got the goods from the first note to the last. I report, with extreme personal satisfaction, all members of my party that evening were sufficiently stunned into seeing the Joe Bonamassa light.
It was not just another rock concert - not to me. There are excellent musicians everywhere - a dime a dozen, as they say. There is just something about that young man's artistry. It seems that his performance motive is pure. He plays his music simply because he loves it, because he was born to it. It is his gift to the world. What good fortune! What good fortune.
Topeka Performing Arts Center
April 9, 2014
photo by Anda Arms