Wednesday, August 4, 2010

RAY BONNEVILLE at Cactus Cafe 7-22-10

I'm late to the party with Ray but better that I did, at least, get there.  I'd seen him one other time, a couple of years ago with Mike Meadows (percussionist for PorterDavis).  At that time, maybe because it was more of a party atmosphere, at an unofficial SXSW show, I remember liking him but not being knocked out, you know?
Well, not after this night at the Cactus.  Man, is he ever good!  What a groove his music has!  He's Cajun bluesy and very melodic, heckuva writer, great guitarist, the whole enchilada, as they say.  I can't recommend him enough.  All I know is, I will see him live every chance I get from here on out.
Besides guitar he plays harmonica and solo, he has what I call a piece of plywood on the floor mic'd up, that he uses to tap out a beat.  That's probably not what it is but it's what it sounds like.  Really sounds cool on his songs.  I also love his phrasing and the way some words, at the end of a line, just kind of fade away.  You'd have to hear him, such a soulful guy.  Speaking of which, you should buy straight away his most recent release called "Goin by feel."  I haven't stopped playing it since I bought it.  There is one song on it called "I am The Big Easy" which is the best song I've heard written about the aftermath of Katrina.
One other thing, I was familiar with a song he wrote many years ago called "Two Bend In The Road."  I have it on a Louise Taylor cd and I love her version.  Anyway, there is a verse in it, goes like this:

"The butterfly in the wind
he don't know how fragile his wings are
he don't know
love's a lot like him now
fragile just like him"

That is one heckuva verse, by anybody, period.  What an image that conjures up.
At any rate, check Ray out as quickly as you can.
Details - the show was free, room was packed and I hope he made good tips because he is terrific and put on a fantastic show.

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