On Easy Gone, Bonneville delivers 10 reasons why longevity pays off. On each song, his taut guitarwork shimmers like the scales on coiled rattler, menacing and confident. His voice carries the rich, natural timbre of time and his harmonica rhythms add an extra dollop of grit to his streetwise sound. Produced by Bonneville and Justin Douglas, Easy Gone wears the faded workclothes of a man who knew when he “said I do to a highway,” as he sings in “Who Do Call the Shots,” that it wasn’t going to be an easy marriage. But he also knew divorce was not an option, and affirms his vows in soulful lyrics that balance thoughtful observation, impassioned emotion and the restless soul of a wanderer.
Songs like “When I Get to New York,” “Mile Marker 41” and “Love is Wicked” percolate with hints of something sinister and sexy. In the bluesy “Wicked,” you can almost hear the finger-poppers lurking in the club’s corners — the ones who might get a little wicked themselves later on. Even the album’s lone cover, of Hank Williams’ classic, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” carries a groove and momentum that’s Bonneville’s alone. It’s haunting, like many of his songs. He populates a lot of them with society’s fringes: the desperate and dangerous, damaged and vulnerable. With a style that draws comparisons to such artists as JJ Cale and Daniel Lanois, this blues-influenced, New Orleans-inspired “song and groove man,” as he’s been so aptly described, luckily found his rightful calling. Easy Gone is a tour de force that confirms that Ray is an artist whose time has definitely come.
01 - Who Do Call the Shots - Ray Bonneville
02 - Shake Off My Blues - Ray Bonneville
03 - Where Has My Easy Gone - Ray Bonneville
04 - Love Is Wicked - Ray Bonneville
05 - When I Get to New York - Ray Bonneville
06 - Lone Freighter's Wail - Ray Bonneville
07 - So Lonely I Could Cry - Ray Bonneville
08 - South Little One - Ray Bonneville
09 - Mile Marker 41 - Ray Bonneville
10 - Two Bends in the Road - Ray Bonneville