Friday, October 30, 2009


My mom is home now and seems to be doing well, but last Tuesday night she was still in the hospital getting over pneumonia complicated by asthma. Tuesday was a rainy, foggy, and kind of chilly evening in Knoxville, Tennessee, but Corey (my son) and I were determined to relieve a week’s worth of worrying about her by enjoying a good meal, some pale ale and tea, and some great blues.

Joe Bonamassa, one of the world’s greatest guitarists blew us away! Corey could not believe an acoustic guitar could be played the way Joe delivered it Tuesday night at the Bijou Theatre! Awesome and unbelievable were two words that he used over and over to praise Joe’s playing. Check out this audience shot clip of a similar performance:

As one well lubricated guy in the balcony screamed, “You freakin’ rock, dude!

Joe Bonamassa got his first guitar at age 5 and by age 7 he was playing Stevie Ray Vaughn tunes note for note. At the age of 11, during a short period of being mentored by Danny Gatton, he learned such styles as country and jazz as well as heavy rock. During this time with Gatton, Bonamassa sat in with Gatton's band whenever they played in New York. He first opened for B. B. King at 12 years of age. After first hearing him play, King said, “This kid's potential is unbelievable. He hasn't even begun to scratch the surface. He's one of a kind.

Corey and I had dinner at the Downtown Grill & Brewery on Gay Street before walking the two blocks to the Bijou. And BTW, if you’ve never attended an event at the Bijou, you’ve missed an intimate little 900 seat venue for music.

Corey had his traditional chicken sandwich and fries, soaked down with glass after glass of unsweet-tea, while I enjoyed half a Hawaiian pizza (pineapple, bacon, and ham) with added onions, marinated in the Brewery’s own Downtown Blonde Ale (a light-bodied Kolsch displays a smooth malt note and a hint of fruit flavor in the finish. The Kolsch style has little hop flavor or aroma, letting the sweet malt taste prevail.)

Outside the Bijou we stopped to take a photo of Joe’s equipment trailer, and then went inside out of the drizzle. I gave Corey a tour of the theater, since he had never been there. I told him some of the history of the theater, mainly about it once being a brothel, and during my time at the University of Tennessee, a porn theater! He was shocked to hear that I had once visited such a place, but I was merely skimming the surface of my colorful past!

I also mentioned that some say the Bijou is haunted!

I got a shot of Famous Grouse blended scotch whiskey over ice and preceded up stairs to our loggia seats. Our view of the stage was completely unobstructed, situated along the right wall of the auditorium, just behind the upper level box seats. To our left, the balcony seats began just one level up from our view. We could get up and leave the theater and come back without bothering a soul!

Corey had never heard of Joe Bonamassa, but he became a fan Tuesday night. He has always loved “slide” guitar, like his daddy, so I’m sure there will be a couple of CDs of Joe’s in his vehicle soon!

I’m looking forward to more “nights on the town” with my son in the coming years.


FHB said...

Cool. I hope I get to see him when he rolls through Ft. Worth next year.

Grandpa-Old Soldier said...

So glad your Mom is on the mend. She needs to move to Houston where it's worm most all the time.. Oh where is Dallas?? up north somewhere isn't it.

Grandpa-Old Soldier said...

I spelled warm wrong.. I am a dumbass, as this Old Charter is getting to my fingers.

Scott from Oregon said...

Shreddin' is right...

Wow. Joey rocks.

Shrinky said...

I take it that gorgeous boy of yours inherited his good looks from his mother's side of the family, then?

Your poor mum, she has had plenty enough to deal with as it is this year, never minding having to suffer through all of that, too. I reckon you and Corey were well overdue a great night out - what a great area - I am so envious!