Ray Bonneville Bad Man's Blood

Ray Bonneville Bad Man's Blood
It has been pleasing to note that Quebec-born, Austin-based singer-songwriter Ray Bonneville gain deserved success in the U.S. since signing with prestigious roots label Red House in 2004. His previous album, 2008's Goin' By Feel, included Americana hit "I Am the Big Easy," winner of Folk Alliance's Song of the Year Award. This fine third record for the label will surely bring more attention. Back in 1999, Bonneville won a Juno for Best Blues Album for Gust Of Wind, but that's a bit misleading; his style lies more in the folk/roots camp than standard 12-bar blues. It's built upon his laconic, yet compelling, vocals and subtle, fluent guitar playing (as a guitarist, he has played with the likes of Mary Gauthier and Ray Wylie Hubbard). Providing invaluable accompaniment on electric guitar, bass and banjo is the reliably excellent Gurf Morlix (Lucinda Williams). A natural comparison point for Bonneville's sound is J.J. Cale, while many songs also bear a similarity to Daniel Lanois. One of those is "Blonde of Mine," a solo tune featuring both French and English lyrics; it's reprised from a 1997 album, while a song from his very first album, "Good Times," is also given a sweet makeover. Jaunty, sax-driven instrumental "Ray's Jump" adds variety, while Bonneville's harmonica work is another winning instrumental ingredient. (Red House)