Ray Bonneville: Bad Man’s Blood

[6 March 2012]

By Steve Horowitz

Sweet blues

Ray Bonneville sings the sweet blues, songs of sometime despair with the sound of hope somewhere in the music. He complements this atmosphere with righteous guitar licks on both the acoustic and electric guitar. Bonneville allows the silences between chords talk as forcefully as what he plays, just as he lets the stillness between the words to his songs sing louder than his articulated phrasing.

He also has a sense of humor, so that even the mean hearted tunes—much like the title track—come off more as a story with a moral more than a real life drama about a kid with a father in prison. And when Bonneville means to be funny, as in the appropriately titled “Funny ‘Bout Love”, there is something delightful about the whole set up. He reminds us to “think of the good times not the bad”, which is always good advice. Even when Bonneville reminds us that we can’t change our situations, he helps us change our attitude. The songs on this disc remind us of danger, real grief and pain—but that’s life. It beats the alternative.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/155409-ray-bonneville-bad-mans-blood/