Saturday, March 03, 2012

Ray Bonneville's Goin' By Feel

While the folk magazine Dirty Linen writes about singer-songwriter Ray Bonneville that “he creates his own powerful and unique version of the blues,” after listening to his Red House release Goin’ By Feel it would be more accurately described as an atmospheric bluesy folk-rock recording, incorporating a variety of influences from blues, country and other sources.

Bonneville was born and raised in Canada but moved down to the States and has dual citizenship which enabled him to become immersed in the roots scene. Playing rack harmonica in addition to a deft, understated guitar, there is a Dylanesque quality about many of these performances (exemplified by Sabine River, with its lyrics about a Northern lady down in New Orleans). Another song, I Am the Big Easy is a celebration of New Orleans although acknowledging the city has been brought to its knees by a storm.

Bonneville is a marvelous singer-songwriter whose understated performances certainly make questions of categorizing his music a secondary concern. The combination of strong original material and the evocative performances certainly make for a solid listening experience.

This review originally appeared in March 2008 issue of Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 302). A review copy was either sent to the publication who sent it to me or from the label or a publicist. Here is a clip of him doing I Am the Big Easy.

No comments: