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1. He started young. Joe Bonamassa may now be entering middle age — he turned 40 this past May — but the now- legendary blues guitarist got things rolling early, first learning to play guitar when he was only 4, then opening up for another legendary blues guitarist, the late B.B. King at the tender age of 12. King later became a mentor of sorts to Bonamassa, advising him on everything from music to his career. The best piece of advice King ever dished? “He said, ‘Watch your money and keep your eye on the business side of things,’” Bonamassa told M — Music & Musicians, in 2011.(tncms-asset)f0eb65bc-72e6-11e7-aa57-00163ec2aa77(/tncms-asset)

2. He tries to hold back from too much ‘shredding.’ Like most famous blues players, Bonamassa is known for his extensive guitar solos. But there is a fine line between playing a tasteful, musical-sounding solo and merely showing off. In order to avoid the latter Bonamassa intentionally uses heavier gauge strings in order to be less tempted to spend too much time shredding on those high notes.

3. He prefers the stage to the studio. It seems that musicians fall in two camps, those who love to play live and those who prefer to use the studio as their medium of expression. Bonamassa plants himself firmly in the camp of the former, as he has mentioned in several interviews that the studio involves too much second guessing yourself as opposed to onstage where the freedom to do whatever you like musically is right in front of you.(tncms-asset)2f3477ae-73bf-11e7-a29a-00163ec2aa77(/tncms-asset)

4. He plans to show South Jersey why the stage is his home. With an upcoming show set for 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4, at Borgata’s Event Center, Bonamassa will give blues fans in our region a chance to see him strut his stuff live. Expect a show full of dazzling guitar trickery as well as power and soul that can only be delivered by a student of the blues like Bonamassa.(tncms-asset)4bbbe7fc-75fb-11e7-bdb3-00163ec2aa77(/tncms-asset)

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