Bonamassa talks serving Tea at the Ryman Auditorium

22 April 2021

The Joe Bonamassa Ryman Auditorium show, recorded last year in the early days of lockdown, will be released on CD/LP/DVD 11 June 2021, via the Provogue/Mascot label group.

The event included tracks from his then-to-be released ‘Royal Tea’ album and was one of the early fundraisers for his Fueling Musicians program. The DVD will include a film introduction narrated by Jeff Daniels.

Joe told MetalTalk: “I have always wanted to film a show at the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Our band has had the honour of playing there now eight and a half times over the past ten years. The audience is always alive and electric, hanging on every word and phrase.

“It feels like the greatest, most intimate gig you will ever do, but there are 2,300 people sharing this joy and musical journey. I love the place as it is a national treasure and selfishly close to my house.

“Here is where I get to the half part. We missed you. As great as it is to be on that stage in any capacity, YOU the fans make it special. You are part of the show and a big part of it.

“As this show was being filmed live, almost 100,000 eyes were on us in various forms around the world in front of TVs and computers alike.

“But you were not in the room with us.”

Photo of Joe Bonamassa
Joe Bonamassa. Photo Kit Wood

“This show counts as a half.”

While regulations prevented any fans being in attendance, the seats were filled with cardboard fans all custom made. Given that in excess of 17,000 tickets were sold, the true numbers of virtual ‘attendees’ is unknown, but could easily have blown the 100k number out of the water.

Joe explains: “We played as good as we could in front of those 1,700 cardboard cut outs of your faces and tried to imagine you there. For split seconds I would catch a glimpse of the room and it almost felt normal.

“Then the song would end and there would be dead silence. Only the footsteps of our crew could be heard.

“With all of that said, this DVD is a snapshot of a concert performance within the confines a vast sea change of the world. A world that had temporarily deemed us unnecessary. Nobody knows when I will ever get back to this stage in front of a full house again, but I sure do know that I do love it and miss you greatly. This show counts as a half.”

Funding the Fueling Musicians program

Ticket sales and donations during the after party showcase added a further $32,000 to Joe’s Fueling Musicians program, which was set up to support touring musicians during the COVID-19 crisis.

To date the fund has raised an impressive $460,000.

‘Royal Tea Live From The Ryman’ can be pre-ordered at www.smarturl.it/joebonamassa

Cover of Now Serving: Royal Tea Live From The Ryman from Joe Baonmassa

Royal Tea Live From The Ryman:

1. When One Door Opens
2. Royal Tea
3. High Class Girl
4. Lookout Man!
5. Why Does It Take So Long To Say Goodbye
6. A Conversation With Alice
7. I Didn’t Think She Would Do It
8. Beyond The Silence
9. Lonely Boy
10. Cradle Rock
11. Walk In My Shadow
12. A New Day Yesterday / Starship Trooper – Wurm

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