Blues musician Ray Bonneville will perform at Deep Roots Music Festival in Wolfville on Sept. 28. - Submitted
By Sara Ericsson
Bona fide blues musician Ray Bonneville can easily be described as a professional roamer.
“I’ve always liked to move – I don’t know why that is,” said Ray Bonneville, whose nomadic lifestyle has led to a life in Canada, the United States and France.
Joined by fellow musician Geoff Arsenault, Bonneville will play the main stage at this year's Deep Roots Music Festival on Sept. 28. He has been writing and recording music professionally for over 30 years. His music reflects the experiences and people that have influenced him as a person.
“I like to meet people who live on the edge of society and write about them in my songs,” said Bonneville, adding that he likes to stick to classic cowboy chords and add variations when writing music.
“I like to try and let the listener decide certain things in the song so that the song is theirs, and not mine”
Though he currently residing in Austin, Texas, Bonneville’s childhood saw him raised in Quebec. His family moved to Boston when he was 12 and he was required to switch from a French Catholic school to an English public one. Bonneville knew very little English when he enrolled in his new school.
“The language barrier stayed with me for a long time,” he said. He cites this barrier as a possible reason of why he waited to write songs.
Bonneville began playing professionally as a singer-songwriter on a full-time basis in his forties. Combining his love of music and travel, he now plays more than 150 shows a year across North America and Europe.
Throughout his many travels, certain areas have come to feel like home for Bonneville. As a blues musician, the mecca of New Orleans is a cultural hub for him.
“It’s a place where everything comes together,” he said. “You can almost taste the food in the music.”
In Nova Scotia, Bonneville says that he is most attracted to the people and the landscape.
“The way the people speak is musical,” he says.
He looks forward to playing at Deep Roots, and said that his shows in Nova Scotia are always full of energy.
“Playing is really about the people,” he added.