Album Review

Blues in a quiet relaxed state

Ray Bonneville - At King Electric

Ray Bonneville

At King Electric

Stonefly Records

 

   Ray Bonneville’s new disc is filled with 11 of his arid yet luscious new original songs. It was released on September 7 and produced by Ray and longtime friend and cohort Justin Douglas.  The players on this disc are all known to him in one way or another through various diverse different paths he has tried out on his journey through this adventure we call living.  Richie Lawrence who plays electric piano and accordion who he knew/played with many years in the past and then lost track of for many years only to be brought back together for this project.  Andre Bohren (drums, percussion, piano) whose father is a long established NOLA musician, with whose family Ray traveled with many years ago when Andre was a youngster.  Then there are a couple of guest artists who help flesh out this project Gurf Morlix (guitar & bass) and Stefano Intelisano (B3 & organ). 

   The songs on this disc are a reflection of the life he has lived so far; they are the stories of the life from his younger years in his native Quebec, his family moving to Boston when he was 12 and the journeys and adventures that have come his way since then.   As he has gained this experience with life he has used it to make his songs more personally vibrant and alive.  Much of the music is both funky, a solid reflection of the years spent in New Orleans listening to funky rhythms that rule that city’s wonderful music scene, and also the sparseness of the folk scene music of Boston which ruled his formative younger years.  Years when he was trying to escape family rules and regulations and find himself.  His vocals have a generally relaxed feel in them, almost the languid movement of warm water as it slowly moves on its laid back journey.  Give a listen to South of The Blues, as it rolls along in no particular hurry to reach a destination.  It is the music at all times that stays front and center and oft times reflects the feeling in the song and a good example here is, Codeine, as it seems to amble in its direction.

   His music is firmly rooted in a bluesy style, and you can feel the older acoustic players that influenced him in his songs and music.  His band is right solid with him backing him and taking the music on its own way with strong support.  (Man, Andre has grown up to be a great musician from when I first met him he was just a kid !)

 

by bob gottlieb