Karla Bonoff is described as one of the finest singer/songwriters of her generation – she’s enjoyed critical acclaim, commercial success, enduring popularity and the unwavering respect of her peers. Her songs have become hits for Bonnie Raitt, Wynonna Judd and Linda Ronstadt. Fans and critics agree that her songs are timeless. On Saturday, May 20 Karla Bonoff comes to the historic Opera House at Boothbay Harbor to perform in a 7:30 p.m. concert with Nina Gerber. Advance discounted tickets $35 and available directly from the box office at 207-633-5159. Regular tickets, $40 are available at www.boothbayoperahouse.com and on the day of show.
Born and raised in Southern California, Karla Bonoff was a songwriter by the age of 15. Karla's passion was always music. She became friends with other singer-songwriters and musicians in the 60’s who were creating their own unique sound. She talks about lining up at the legendary Troubadour at noon on Mondays to get a slot in the famous Monday night Troubadour "hoot," which was a breaking ground for many artists who went on to great success.
She says, "It was an amazing time. Jackson Browne, James Taylor and Elton John were around the Troubadour in those days." There were some other writer-singers who became friends of Karla's, and eventually, they decided to put a band together. They were Kenny Edwards, (who had started the Stone Poneys with Linda Ronstadt and Bobby Kimmel), Wendy Waldman, and Andrew Gold - and the band Bryndle was born - one of the early songwriter groups, even before the Eagles. The band made an album for A&M, but it was never released.
Karla says, "I think they didn't really know quite what to make of it. This was right before Crosby, Stills and Nash, and before Fleetwood Mac. Bryndle broke up, but it launched four very illustrious careers. Kenny and Andrew joined Linda Ronstadt's band, and through that connection, Ronstadt was to hear a demo of hers. Karla recalled playing a tape of "Lose Again" for her. "Hey, you know that's real good," Bonoff remembers Ronstadt saying, "What else have you got?" On Linda's "Hasten Down the Wind" album [released in 1976], there were three Bonoff songs: "Someone to Lay Down Beside Me," "If He's Ever Near" and "Lose Again."
As Ronstadt was scoring hits with Karla Bonoff songs, Karla herself was signed as a solo artist to Columbia Records in 1977 and her first self-titled album was released that year. She opened for James Taylor and Jackson Browne and earned a rave review in Time magazine. Two subsequent albums, "Restless Nights" [released in 1979] and "Wild Heart of the Young" [released in 1982], established Karla as one of LA's major artists and songwriters. Musicians such as Russ Kunkel, Joe Walsh, Waddy Wachtel, Danny Kortchmar, Don Henley, Timothy Schmit, Peter Frampton, Bill Payne, J.D. Souther, and her old partners from Bryndle, Wendy Waldman, Andrew Gold and Kenny Edwards all participated in the making of these wonderful records.
Her fourth album, New World [first released in 1988], and Karla began to tour in Japan. There's been work in film - she and J.D. Souther wrote songs for the motion picture "About Last Night." Throughout the years, Karla has continued to do what she does best. She's toured with Bonnie Raitt, John Prine, J.D. Souther and others, building up a passionate audience, resulting in sold-out houses everywhere. In 1990, strange things began to happen in Karla's life. Her career came full circle. She wrote three songs which wound up on her old friend Linda Ronstadt's album "Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind." "All My Life," a duet with Ronstadt and Aaron Neville, won the Grammy for Best Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. People magazine ranked "All My Life" as one of the top five most popular wedding songs.
The Huffington Post calls her “voice is perfection.” Her playlist is heartfelt, and the historic Opera House is the perfect setting to hear this pioneer in the southern California singer/songwriter scene.
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