Monday 28 Jul

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Ray of humanity

Ray of humanity

Folk’s Ray Bonneville imparts musical messages of life the only way he knows how: feeling his way around.

Chris Parker March 23rd, 2011

Ray Bonneville
8 p.m. Friday The Blue Door
2805 N. McKinley, 524-0738
$15 advance, $25 door

Ray Bonneville’s latest album is titled “Goin’ by Feel,” and there couldn’t be a better summation of the Canadianborn roots artist’s life and approach.

Inspired early on by country music, blues and pre-Beatles pop, he remembers pressing his ear against his grandmother’s furniture-size radio in the 1950s upon hearing that oldfashioned twang. Soon, he got a guitar and taught himself to play.

The spirit of those early days inform Bonneville’s music, a mesmerizing, unhurried blend of folk, blues and country, with a strong percussive undercurrent.

“I like to get a groove going and tell some kind of story in there,” said Bonneville, who plays Friday at The Blue Door. “I love that sort of music which is attempting to hypnotize the listener into paying attention.”

He’s unconcerned with lots of chords and flashy changes; his focus is more on how one plays than what. When he first picked up the guitar, he spent months strumming the first chord he learned, feeling little need to go further.

“I used to only know the E chord, and my parents at one point asked me to please learn another chord! I learned a couple more and now I know maybe five,” he said. “I’m not a schooled musician. I’m a by-ear guy. I play the chords that are on page one of book one of guitar-playing.”

That humility infuses his music. “When it comes to songwriting, I am trying to make the listener make up how their own life pertains to the song,” he said. “I like to sketch them just enough to be a trigger or a catalyst to the listener so they can say, ‘This song is about me.’” He’s lived a nomadic life; being born French-Canadian, he didn’t even learn English until he was 12. He played in bands in high school, and returned to music after military duty.

But he didn’t strike out on his own until nearly 20 years as a sideman and session player. He worked as a taxi driver and flew airplanes, but it wasn’t until 1993, well into his 40s, that he released his first album, ‘On the Main.’” “I really had to feel confident with the nuance of the English language, and for a long time, I didn’t,” he said. “That allowed me to develop the style I have on the guitar and the harmonica.”

Things have been going strong ever since. His 1999 record, “Gust of Wind,” won a Juno — Canada’s Grammy — for Best Canadian Blues album, and he was nominated again for 2000’s “Rough Luck.” He’s currently working on his seventh album for release this summer.

In the meantime, he keeps doing the only thing that’s really made sense to him.

“There was a voice inside of me saying, ‘Do what you like in this world, because you only have one time around,’” he said.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5