Bon Jovi is making a change in its lineup.
Holmdel, New Jersey musician Matt O’Ree will join the band as the new touring guitarist on its forthcoming tour of South Asia, replacing Bobby Bandiera, according to Noise11.com.
Bandiera, a longtime Jersey Shore musician and guitarist for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, has toured with the group since 2005.
O’Ree, who formed the Matt O’Ree Band in 1994, is a blues-based guitarist. In 2006, he was declared the winner of the Guitarmageddon “King of the Blues” contest hosted by B.B. King and John Mayer through Guitar Center and Guitar World Magazine. He has released three studio records and a live album.
Last month, O’Ree performed alongside Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan in Farmingdale, NJ at the Rock the Farm concert benefiting the the non-profit CFC Loud n Clear Foundation, which promotes drug free living and assists families struggling with addiction.
Phil X — who replaced departed guitarist Richie Sambora — will remain as the group’s main axeman for the forthcoming tour. His guitar credits include appearances on albums by Chris Cornell, Tommy Lee, Orianthi, Alice Cooper, Daughtry, Kelly Clarkson, and Adam Lambert, according to his Website.
The latest news comes on the heels of leader Jon Bon Jovi’s announcement that the group is severing ties with longtime label Mercury Records. The split was addressed on the “fan album” Burning Bridges. The record debuted at No. 13 on the Billboard 200 Chart (25,000 units, 24,000 in pure album sales). A new album is slated for release in 2016.
Additionally, the band’s Shanghai concert on Sept. 14 and Beijing concert on Sept. 17 have been canceled due to unforeseen reasons, according to promoter AEG Live Asia.
Watch Dave Bryan and Matt O’Ree perform “Bed of Roses”: