Our next concert is Oct. 11 with Ray Bonneville

Ray Bonneville

Ray Bonneville’s road began, more or less, at the age of 12, when his parents moved their nine French-speaking children from Quebec to Boston. There, he learned to play piano and guitar, but the language and cultural challenges made school difficult. At 17, he joined the Marines, and was shipped off to Viet Nam, where he spent a year. Upon returning, he discovered blues music.

Bonneville spent the ’70s in Boulder, Colo., where he formed the Ray Bonneville Blues Band, an electric five-piece. Stints in Alaska and Seattle followed, playing rowdy rooms where he developed his unique style. “My thumb became my bass player and my index finger became my lead guitar and rhythm player,” he explains. “My feet became my drums and with my harmonica and my vocal, it made for a four-piece blues band.” From there, he moved to Paris, where he busked, and where, for the first time, he encountered audiences who sat in silence, truly listening.

“It scared me,” he admits. “I realized that you’d better have something to say if you’re going to play in front of this kind of crowd.”

Returning stateside in ’83, he moved to New Orleans, and was stirred by the city’s hypnotic undercurrent of mystery and magic. In his six years there, it seeped into his sound — and still ripples through it today.  At 41, he moved to Montreal and started honing his songwriting skills. He also began touring and recording; his 1999 album, Gust of Wind, won a Juno Award. In 2003, Bonneville moved again, this time to Arkansas. He began recording for Red House Records, and adding his talents to albums by Mary Gauthier, Gurf Morlix, Eliza Gilkyson, Ray Wylie Hubbard and other prominent artists.

Bonneville’s post-Katrina ode, “I am the Big Easy,” was folk radio’s No. 1 song of 2008 and earned the International Folk Alliance’s 2009 Song of the Year Award. He has shared songwriting credits with Tim O’Brien, Phil Roy and Morlix, among others. Slaid Cleaves placed Bonneville’s “Run Jolee Run” on his lauded 2009 album, Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away.

This is Ray’s second time at Tales from the Tavern, and we are thrilled to have him back!

 

 

Artists who have performed at Tales from the Tavern:

Priscilla Ahn – Dave Alvin – Phil Alvin – Joan Baez – Marcia Ball – Ryan Bingham – Stephen Bishop – Tim Bluhm – Suzy Bogguss – Ray Bonneville – Bonny “Prince” Billy and The Cairo Gang – Karla Bonoff – Jackie Bristow – Brother Sun – Pieta Brown and Bo Ramsey – Chuck Cannon – Carlene Carter – Matt Cartsonis – Peter Case – Annabelle Chvostek – Slaid Cleaves – Ron Colone – Elizabeth Cook – Jake Copass – John Corbett – AJ Croce – Joe Crookston – David Crosby – Kacey Cubero – Paul Curreri – Catie Curtis – Greg DeLeon – Grey DeLisle – Kris Delmhorst – Jesse DeNatale – Henry Diltz – Gerald DiPego – John Doe – Donovan – Fred Eaglesmith – Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart – Craig Eastman – Tim Easton – Cliff Eberhardt – Kenny Edwards – Carrie Elkin – Ramblin’ Jack Elliott – Lauren Ellis – Fabulous Ginn Sisters – Stephanie Finch – Rosie Flores – Steve Forbert – Gib Foss – Jeffrey Foucault – Richie Furay – Tony Furtado – Chris Gaffney – Mary Gauthier – Dan Gerber – Eliza Gilkyson – Tony Gilkyson – John Gorka – Jon Dee Graham – Tracy Grammer – Art Green – Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion – John Hammond – Butch Hancock – Andrew Hardin – Michael Reno Harrell – Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen – Tish Hinojosa – Malcolm Holcombe – Rita Hosking – I See Hawks in LA – Janis Ian – Ruby Jane – Jill Knight – Danny Kortchmar – Jimmy LaFave – Patty Larkin – Jim Lauderdale – Phil Lee – Greg Liesz – Bob Lind – David Lindley – Juke Logan and Bill Lynch – Shelby Lynne – Michael Martin – Iain Matthews – Anne McCue – Country Joe McDonald – John McEuen – Erin McKeon – Audrey Auld Mezera – Michael on Fire – Katy Moffatt – Steve Moris – RB Morris – Gurf Morlix – Geoff Muldaur – Peter Mulvey – Dan Navarro – Danny O’Keefe – Carla Olson – Beth Orton – Gretchen Peters – Kelly Joe Phelps – Rod Picott – Owen Plant – Steve Poltz – Willy Porter – Steve Postell – Chuck Prophet – The Quebe Sisters – Joel Rafael – Willis Alan Ramsey – Walt Richardson – Kim Richey – Wil Ridge – Tom Rush – Tom Russell – Danny Schmidt – Maia Sharp – Dick Siegel – Darden Smith – Michael Smith – Preston Smith – Chris Smither – JD Souther – Amy Speace – Devon Sproule – Dave Stamey – John Stewart – Gregg Sutton – Eric Taylor – Jack Tempchin – Paul Thorn – Greg Trooper – Teresa Tudury – Karen Tyler – Ian Tyson – Randy Weeks – Kevin Welch – Corrine West – Cheryl Wheeler – Wheeler Brothers – Kenny White – David Wilcox – Paul Williams