What to Do Tonight: Joe Bonamassa

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Grinding his axe
  • Grinding his axe

Joe Bonamassa may be guided by traditional blues influences, but the British and American interpretations of those traditions are what really steer his work. His affection for B.B. King (who he opened for when he was 12), Muddy Waters, and Robert Johnson takes a backseat to his devotion to Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix. You can hear that influence in Bloodline, Bonamassa’s first band, which he formed when he was 17 (the group also included the sons of Miles Davis and the Doors’ Robbie Krieger), and it’s remained a solid part of his solo career over the past decade. On Black Rock, his eighth album in ten years, Bonamassa sticks mostly to the blues-rock formula he’s been working since his 2000 debut, A New Day Yesterday, deftly weaving Delta dexterity, blistering raw power, and deeply rooted passion into every note. There are a few interesting departures — the album was recorded in a Greek studio, and that flavor comes through on an atmospheric cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire” — but Bonamassa’s traditional blues banner is proudly exhibited on Black Rock’s swinging stomp and subtle intensity. The show starts at 8 p.m. at the Ohio Theatre (1511 Euclid Ave., 216.771.4444, ). Tickets: $39-$69. —Brian Baker

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