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Ray Bonneville returning to Lethbridge

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Juno award winning roots/ blues singer songwriter Ray Bonneville returns to Lethbridge, Oct. 9 to make his debut with the Lethbridge Folk Club.


Ray Bonneville plays the Lethbridge Folk Club, Oct. 9. Photo by Jan Guchelaar

 I missed his performance at the Geomatic Attic a couple years ago, but I remember seeing him do one of the coolest mid song string changes I had ever seen in another life. Bonneville, who performs solo, accompanying himself  on harmonica and guitar while rapping out a rhythm by tapping on a microphoned board with his feet, broke a string mid-song, and didn’t miss a beat or a verse, and played a harmonica solo while changing the string, then picked up where he left off in the song.


“I haven’t had to do that in while, but then I haven’t broken a string in a while,” said the Montreal/Austin/Arkansas based Bonneville from his motel in Athabaska.


“I just play the melody on the harmonica and guitar. I learned how to do that after playing many, many  bars over the past 20 years because when you break  a string and stop to change it, the stage goes dead,” Bonneville said adding he  likes to keep the momentum going in a show, though lately momentum has been a bit slow as he has been hobbling around on crutches while a repetitive strain injury on his right leg (from stamping out the rhythm) heals.


He’ll be fighting fit for Lethbridge with his new cast.


 But for Bonneville, the songs are what matter the most.

His last Cd “Goin’ By Feel” came out in 2008, however he is starting work on a  new  CD to be released next spring.

“I don’t know what it will sound like yet,” he said adding it is likely Gurf Morlix will be back to work on the new record as he has been involved with the past couple as co-producer.


“I think it will be a little darker, though there are some pretty dark songs on “Goin’ By Feel,” and I only say that beacuse  dark has come up a couple times (with regards to the new music). I can’t see Gurf not beoing part of the new album in some way at least playing on it. But the real man behind the sound of all my albums is Rob Heaney. I work with him in Montreal, then I‘ve been taking the songs down to Austin to work with Gurf. But Rob is a master soundscaper,” Bonneville said.


“I don’t like touring on record per se.  I’d go crazy if I had to play the same songs every night. I have to keep it interesting, so my shows are  I’ll go out and play whatever I feel like. I still play quite a lot from “Goin’ by Feel” ad some from “Roll It Down” and a few from “Rough Luck,” he said adding some fo the new songs will be included as well.


“I’m still honing  some of the songs on the road because I want people to identify with the characters,” he said adding he doesn’t put a lot of details abotu the characters into his songs, preferring to let the listener use their imaginations to fill in the details. 


“I sketch songs and let the listener fill in the details. Every line of a song is like a chapter of  a novel. My system is I’ll play a song in front of people and then I can tell if everything about it is working,” he continued adding  he wants to make characters people can identify with.


“It’s kind of strange when you play a new song and people come up and ask what album is it on.  I have to tell them it isn’t on an album yet,” he continued adding his songwriting changes the more he plays.


“Songs are like photogrpahs of you at a certain point in your life. Your hair might be a different style. When you look back at it you can see how you’ve changed,”  he said.


“Songs take a lot of time before they become believable which is why it is so much time in between albums,” he said adding he is looking forward to returning to Lethbridge.

“It will be very enjoyable, I hope. I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

 Little Birdie opens the show at 8 p.m., Oct. 9 at the Wolf’s Den.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 05 October 2010 12:23 )  
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