(Originally published in May 6, 2008)
Like the stories of his favorite authors Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O’Connor, Ray Bonneville’s songs are full of true-to-life characters that stumble their way through a rough and tumble world of violence, hope and despair. A one-man band, he backs up weathered, storytelling vocals with a highly percussive guitar style, dramatic harmonica lines and a foot that keeps the steady beat. He’s also heavily inspired by the natural world, and currently splits his time between his native Canada and his newest favorite city, Austin.
His raw, tell-it-like-it-is storytelling style has won him critical acclaim. In 1999, he won a Juno award for his third album, Gust of Wind. The next year, his album Rough Luck was also nominated for the award. He’s shared the stage with blues heavyweights B.B. King, Muddy Waters, J.J. Cale and Robert Cray and has performed on the stages of South by Southwest and Folk Alliance
In 2008, Ray stopped by the Folk Alley studios at WKSU in Kent, OH to chat with Jim Blum about his life as a wandering minstrel, the people he meets along the way, and the soulful music they’ve inspired. Hear Jim’s interview and watch video of Ray in action.
(Session recorded March 19, 2008; produced by WKSU’s Joe Gunderman)