FAME Review: Ray Bonneville - Bad Man's Blood
Ray Bonneville - Bad Man's Blood

Bad Man's Blood

Ray Bonneville

Red House Records - RHR CD 243

Available from Red House Records.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

Ray Bonneville was born in French Canada and now resides in Austin Texas, and he is an absolute master of slow building songs that never lack intensity and burn. He is one of the most skilled songwriters of that dark slow smoldering yet fiery blues/roots music that is a hybrid of J.J. Cale's groove and the Hill-Country funky trance/swamp blues by the likes of R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough among others. Ray and Justin Douglas produced this effort at Justin's studio in Austin. The songs are slices of everyday lived life, the moments we remember and the stories that surround them, sometimes happy and sometimes much less so, and at times downright foolish, however all seem real enough to have been personally experienced. From the hauntingly evocative opening track Bad Man's Blood, to the happy take on love, Funny 'Bout Love, that concludes the disc, each song is a poignant word picture set to rich a rich musical accompaniment, with the exception of Ray's Jump, where the saxophone replaces the voice and yet in the hands of Dexter Payne it mimics the voice and tells its own story.

The band on this disc is absolutely top shelf Austin talent. Gurf Morlix on electric and baritone guitars, electric bass, banjo and harmony vocals, Mike Meadows on drums and percussion, and Dexter Payne on alto and baritone sax, Ray handles the lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, harmonica, and foot percussion. In addition he wrote all of the songs, nine new ones and two that are older but revised. There is one problem with the disc in that it expands in the player and doesn't want to leave off playing. It is such an appealing disc the ears don't want it to stop playing. Easily one of the best 2 or 3 discs to cross this desk in 2011.

Track List:

  • Bad Man's Blood
  • Sugar and Riley
  • River John
  • Night Walker
  • Darlin' (Put Your Suitcase Down)
  • Blonde of Mine
  • Cross and Flowers
  • Ray's Jump
  • Funny 'bout Love

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Fame LogoReturn to FAME Reviews

a line

Return to acousticmusic.com Home Page

a line

Website design by David N. Pyles