King of the Blues Winner
Matt O’Ree is an American blues-rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter, born and raised in Holmdel, New Jersey. He formed the Matt O’Ree Band in 1994, releasing his debut album, 88 Miles in 1998. In 2006, he entered the Guitarmageddon contest, sponsored by Guitar Center and Guitar World Magazine, hosted by BB King and John Mayer. He won after competing against 4,000 other guitar players. O’Ree was the touring rhythm guitarist for Bon Jovi in the 2015 South East Asia Tour. In 2016, he was inducted into the NY/NJ Blues Hall of Fame.
O’Ree has released four studio albums and two live albums, with his latest album, Brotherhood, released in 2016. The album features contributions from Bruce Springsteen, David Bryan (Bon Jovi), Steve Cropper (Booker T & the MG’s), and John Popper (Blues Traveler), to name a few. The band includes his wife and singer, Eryn Shewell.
David Bryan and Bon Jovi
In 2013, O’Ree met David Bryan, and have been friends since. Bryan helped O’Ree with his career by introducing him to Jon Bon Jovi and getting him an audition to be the guitarist in the Bon Jovi band to help support their album, Burning Bridges.
After the South East Asia Tour in 2015, O’Ree did a homecoming show with his band at the The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey to a sold-out crowd. The show included David Bryan, where they performed Bon Jovi’s song, Wanted Dead or Alive, as well the song co-written by O’Ree and Bryan, My Everything is You; and their new single, the recorded version of “Black Boots,” featuring Bruce Springsteen. Also in 2015, O’Ree and Bryan performed with blues legend, Buddy Guy at B.B. Kings Club, with backing singer, Eryn Shewell.