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Rig Rundown: Joe Bonamassa [2022]

On a summer tour supporting his Time Clocks album, Joe Bonamassa unveils some new 6-strings and old favorites, and plays through whats arguably probably the most covetable assortment of onstage tube amps ever assembled.

After moving back again to NEW YORK, Joe Bonamassa spent some lockdown amount of time in Germano Studios in Manhattans NoHo neighborhood, tightly winding the music for his latest album, Time Clocks. His longtime producer Joe Shirley had to utilize the powerhouse guitarist remotely, from his home in Australia. The result is really as seamlessly Bonamassa as ever, with riveting guitar work which has echoes which range from Africa to Led Zeppelin. My ADD transcends into my musical life, another JB told longtime Premier Guitar contributor Joe Charupakorn inside our December feature. Its an extremely different record for me personally. Its not just a blues record, for certain. I just make an effort to make records that dont bore me completely throughweve got this groove covered, weve got that groove covered, lets put a sorbet in, something out of left field.

They dont serve sorbet at Nashvilles hallowed Ryman Auditorium music hallalthough Im putting that within their suggestion box. But Bonamassa did hand out a lot of guitar flamb at his August 2 headliner there. And melded the music of Time Clocks with an array of a few of his favorite classic and original blues. PGs JBthats meconnected with Joe onstage prior to the show, where I also did a Rig Rundown with that other guy with my initials in 2018.

This time around, there have been some new members of Bonamassas ever-growing-and-shrinking assortment of gearwhich he spoke about at length earlier this season with Cory Wong on the rhythm guitar kingpins Wong Notes podcast for PGpressed into service, including some recent-arrival Les Pauls, needless to say, and perhaps probably the most covetable assortment of historic badass amps ever played on the Ryman stage. But rareness, novelty, or familiarity isnt what determines which toys turn out to play. Bonamassa starts because they build a rough set list, and chooses the proper instrument and amps for every song. So, watch, look, and listen!

Presented by DAddario XPND Pedalboard.

High-Flying B

Joes 1968 Fender Telecaster Thinline includes a B-bender and a Seymour Duncan the Bludgeon pickup set. The brand new pickup outfit is patterned following the distinctive sounding ones in JBs 51 Nocaster and so are entering production soon. The maestro strings the majority of his electrics with Ernie Ball .011 to .052 sets.

Ol 55

Heres another 1955 Strat in the fleet, joining the hardtail the JBs named the very best. He keeps that one tuned to D and it’s really stringed with a slightly heavier gauge of Ernie Balls: .011 to .056.

A Bonnie Strat

That aint vandalism. Its love and friendship. Joe asked his friend Bonnie Bramlett, the vocalist who made rock and roots history as 1 / 2 of the famed duo Delaney and Bonnie, to engrave her name with this 1955 Fender Stratocasterwhich is currently referred to as Bonnie.

About Face, 55

Heres leading side of the Bonnie Strat.

Les Paul on the market

JB was asked to play this 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard on tour until it really is auctioned off for charity. The auction has yet to be announced. Even though 58s and 59s have always been consider the ULTIMATE GOAL of Les Paul, anyone whos heard Claptons tone on the so-called Beano album knows that 60s may also be the bomb. Approaching on the collectability scale: late 60s Pauls. Dont believe it? Play one!


This 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard is really a recent purchase. At some time the initial tuners were swapped for Schallers, and thats how Joes kept it.

The Les Paul Beneath the Stairs

Dig this early 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard, which Joe has named Royal Albert. It had been recently within an under-the-stairs cupboard in England. Following a little bit of work and the addition of some PAFs, its got a fresh life on tour.

For Another $20.

Whats the difference between Gibsons ES-335 and ES-355? Back your day, in practical terms, it had been 20 bucks. But another difference is that the 355 and the 345 came in stereo-wired versions. And the optional Varitone circuitryGibsons chicken-head-dial-controlled tone filterfor ES-355 models was typically standard. Which makes this all-stock 1964 Gibson ES-355 very rare. Theres no Varitone also it came wired out from the factory in mono.

Bicentennial Bird

It aint no eagle, but this all-stock 1976 Gibson Firebird Bicentennial salutes in open G. These were only issued for 3 years and sell for $5,000 plus nowadays. Plus, this special run were all adorned with a white pickguard in which a red-white-and-blue Firebird logo nests.

Amos the Imposter

The Gibson Custom Shop provided Bonamassa this detailed replica of his remarkable, all-original 1958 Gibson Flying V. Browse the run Epiphone did on the historic V back 2017.

Back Black

This 1955that year again!Stratocaster could be the first black Fender Strat. It had been formerly owned by Howard Reed, the guitarist who replaced Cliff Gallup in Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps. Back 1988, an 11-year-old Joe had a poster of the very guitar on his bedroom wall, and today he owns it. For days gone by many years, this guitar has made JBs annual visit to the Ryman and you may go to the black 55 if you enter mom Church.

Adventures in Ampland

Seven amazing amps? Yeah, which should take action. And Joe combines them to recreate all of the sterling tones on his albums. Theres a 1979 Dumble Overdrive Special running right into a 2×12 Dumble Cab with JB-85 Celestions. The speakers are rated at 85 watts, natch, and 8 ohms, and so are on the list of loudest speakers Celestions available. JBs 2006 Dumble Overdrive Special combo blasts through the same-model speaker. Theres a Mesa/Boogie Revolver rotary speaker cabinet in the mix, too, with an individual JB-85, and an 84 Overdrive Special with exactly the same. Two of his signature Fender Twin Reverbs figure in, even though these usually can be found in tweed, Joe had this pair tuxedod in black.

Four off the ground

And when youve had trouble finding Marshall Silver Jubilee 100-watt heads lately, it may be because Bonamassa has four of these, running two at the same time right into a Van Weelden 4×12 cab, split internally to perform as two 2x12s juiced with EVM12Ls.

More Marshalls

Joe Bonamassas Pedalboard

JB keeps an extremely orderly guitar pedalboard. Its currently stocked with a means Huge Overrated Special, a Tone Mechanics/Racksystems Loop Box, a Tone Mechanics/Racksystems Splitter, a Fulltone Supa-Trem, a Hughes & Kettner Rotosphere, a Boss DD-2 Digital Delay, an MXR Micro Flanger, an Ibanez TS808 Tube Screamer, an Electro-Harmonix Micro POG, a Dunlop Joe Bonamassa Fuzz Face, a Lehle A/B/C switcher, a Dunlop signature Cry Baby Wah in Pelham blue, and an on/off/fast/slow dual switch for the Mesa Boogie Revolver. Juice originates from a Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 2 Plus. Joe uses KLOTZ cables and custom Dunlop Jazz III picks.

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