Often called a “song and groove man,” Ray Bonneville has lived the life of the itinerant artist. From his native Quebec, he moved to Boston at age twelve, where he learned English and picked up piano and guitar.
Later, he served in Vietnam and earned a pilot’s license in Colorado before living in Alaska, Seattle, and Paris. Six years in New Orleans infused his musical sensibilities with the region's culture and rhythms. And then, a close call while piloting a seaplane in the Canadian bush proved pivotal: after two decades working as a studio musician, playing rowdy rooms with blues bands, and living hard, Bonneville’s lifetime of hard-won experience coalesced into an urge to write his own music.
Ray recorded his first album, On the Main, in 1992. He’s since released nine albums, earned wide critical and popular acclaim, and won an enthusiastic following in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. His awards include a prestigious Juno, the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy, for his 1999 album, Gust of Wind. In 2012, Ray won the solo/duet category in the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge. His post-Katrina ode, “I Am the Big Easy,” earned the International Folk Alliance’s 2009 Song of the Year Award, placed number one on Folk Radio’s list of most-played songs of 2008, and was recently covered by Jennifer Warnes for the BMG label.
Other notable artists who have recorded his songs include Ronnie Hawkins (“Foolish”) and Slaid Cleaves (“Run Jolee Run”). Ray has shared the bill with blues heavyweights Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Dr. John, J.J. Cale, and Robert Cray, and has guested on albums by Mary Gauthier, Gurf Morlix, Eliza Gilkyson, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and other prominent musicians. He has performed at renowned venues around the world, including South by Southwest, Folk Alliance, and Montreal International Jazz Festival, and plays over 100 shows per year across the U.S., Canada, and Europe. When not on the road, he resides in Austin, Texas.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).
The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!