AUDIO PREVIEW: Guitar king Joe Bonamassa promises 'two hours of blues rock fun' at Sheffield Arena

Joe Bonamassa's 'lightning fast fingers fly effortlessly around the fretboard'. Photo: Paul Rodgers.

Joe Bonamassa's 'lightning fast fingers fly effortlessly around the fretboard'. Photo: Paul Rodgers.

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Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and BB King trip off the tongue when asked to name the greatest guitar players of all time - but make way for Joe Bonamassa!

His popularity is exploding all over the globe as the blues rock singer-songwriter is becoming widely revered by critics and fans alike as the new guitar king.

AUDIO: Listen to Joe Bonamassa chat with Graham Walker about his forthcoming April 2017 UK tour - CLICK HERE.

BUY TICKETS: Tickets to see him at Sheffield Arena on Monday, April 24 are £57.75 to £84, including fees. Buy in person, call 0114 256 5656 or visit www.sheffieldarena.co.uk
It's not just how lightning fast his fingers fly effortlessly around the fretboard, which is truly jaw-dropping.

Beyond the technical skills and his incredible guitar virtuosity, his performances are full of passion and feeling. Bonamassa is the real deal.

And UK audiences will get the chance to see the magic for themselves when he embarks on a UK tour - full dates below.

In an exclusive interview - listen to it here - he reveals what fans old and new can expect, talks about his collection of 300 guitars and which one he would want with him on a desert island.

He also tells how he started playing guitar aged four and how listening to British blues rock legends inspired him to do what he is doing today. But it was as a 12 year old, supporting late great blues legend BB King, that changed his life and made him realise his dream.

Joe, who tuns 40 in May, was born in New York and now lives in LA. He is as self-effacing as they come. Asked outright if he is the greatest guitarist of all time, he said: "No, no, no. I'm sometimes not even the greatest guitar player in the room."

To be fair, he is probably thinking about the night he was starstuck when his idol Eric Clapton joined him on stage to perform alongside him at London's Royal Albert Hall in 2009.

Joe Bonamassa welcomes UK fans with open arms - here comes the real deal. Photo: Christie Goodwin.

Joe Bonamassa welcomes UK fans with open arms - here comes the real deal. Photo: Christie Goodwin.

Joe added: "It's subjective. I've always said the best rock guitar player in the world would have to be Jeff Beck, who is able to reinvent himself time and time again to play blues, rock and forward thinking music

"My favourite singer songwriter and guitar player is Eric Clapton.

"I performed for BB King when I was only 12. He took an interest in a kid playing blues and the rest is history. He was the king of the blues and is sorely missed. It changed my life."

He admits he is not sentimental about memorabilia - he hasn't kept his first guitar, But he does have a collection of 300 guitars and is always looking to add to it. So don't be surprised to see him browsing UK guitar shops.

Guitar king Joe Bonamassachats ahead of his performance at Sheffield Arena on Monday, April 24, 2017. Photo: Laurence Harvey.

Guitar king Joe Bonamassachats ahead of his performance at Sheffield Arena on Monday, April 24, 2017. Photo: Laurence Harvey.

His name has also sold thousands of Gibson Les Paul Joe Bonamassa signature guitars.

He said: "I'll buy if I find something with history. If it's beat up, plays good and sounds good then I will take it on the road. I've probably got 300 in my collection. I don't really have a favourite."

If he was stuck on a desert island - with electricity - which guitar would he take with him?

He laughed: "If I was on a desert island with no electricity I think my guitar playing days would be pretty much over

"I would probably take a Fender Stratocaster because I can do anything with that. Oh and a couple of extra sets of strings."

Joe has recorded 12 studio albums - including latest and Grammy-nominated Blues of Desperation - plus numerous live albums, collaboration albums and live DVDs.. He says UK fans will get a selection of new and classic material.

Joe Bonamassa with pained expression bends over backwards to entertain fans. Photo: Laurence Harvey.

Joe Bonamassa with pained expression bends over backwards to entertain fans. Photo: Laurence Harvey.

He said: "It will be two hours of blues rock fun.”

"People in the UK have been very supportive of me. It all started in the UK and I've been very lucky that people have been following me for over a decade now like this."

BUY TICKETS: Tickets to see him at Sheffield Arena are £57.75 to £84, including fees. Buy in person, call 0114 256 5656 or visit www.sheffieldarena.co.uk
* For a chance to win a Joe Bonamassa signed guitar, tickets and more to the Sheffield show - CLICK HERE.

JOE BONAMASSA - APRIL 2017 UK TOUR

Edinburgh Usher Hall, Tuesday 18 April 2017
Royal Albert Hall, Thursday 20 April 2017
Royal Albert Hall, Friday 21 April 2017
Blackpool Opera House, Saturday 22 April 2017
Sheffield Arena, Monday 24 April 2017
BOOK ONLINE: Visit ticketmaster.co.uk and also buy at www.jbonamassa.com/tour-dates
24 HOUR TICKET HOTLINE: 0844 844 0444

For more information visit jbonamassa.com follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JoeBonamassa and Twitter @JBONAMASSA

Go Joe, go. Photo: Marty Moffatt.

Go Joe, go. Photo: Marty Moffatt.