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Guitar Prodigy Quietly Building Legacy

Of the Oakland Press

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Joe Bonamassa’s reputation as a rock ’n’ roll prodigy dates back to age 4, when he started playing guitar, and age 8, when he opened for B.B. King in his home town of Utica, N.Y.

At 29, however, Bonamassa hopes — and believes — that gimmick aspect of his career has been consigned to the past.

“I’m still around after 20 years, still making records,” says Bonamassa, who’s released six albums of his own and did a stint with the short-lived band Bloodline. “If they view me as a guy who’s just, ‘He’s been around, made good records his whole career. I’ve been to a couple of his shows and really enjoyed them’ — that’s the best thing you can hope for at this stage of the game.

“Legacy-building wasn’t in my plan for at least another 10 years.”

Bonamassa — whose latest album, “You & Me,” came out in June — says he still hopes to record “one record that hits it out of the park, the one defining Joe record.” He has plenty on his plate while he’s working towards that, already, including a position on the Blues Foundation’s board of directors and frequent scholastic appearances as part of the Blues in the Schools educational program.

And that’s not to mention his own heavy touring schedule.

“I do like to be busy,” Bonamassa says. “It’s like feast or famine; I’m super, super busy, then I’m home for two weeks watching ‘West Wing’ marathons on Bravo. It’s sickening.

“But, for me, I like to work. And I’m lucky I can stay busy in the climate of the music industry right now.”

Joe Bonamassa performs Saturday (December 9th) at the Hayloft Liquor Stand, 140 N. Main St., Mount Clemens. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call (586) 468-1010 or visit www.hayloftliquorstand.com.

Web Site: www.hayloftliquorstand.com

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