I Am the Exceptional Drought

Ray Bonneville quenches ‘Bad Man's Blood’ at the Cactus Cafe

I  Am the Exceptional Drought

I haven’t been to the Cactus Café much since Griff Luneburg stopped working there. In all honesty, I wasn’t going there much in Griff’s final days either. What I saw as an overly repetitive booking policy has now morphed into one of acts that I don’t really care to see. Tomorrow night I’ll gladly return for Ray Bonneville though.

Originally from Canada, the modern bluesman has settled here in Central Texas and been spotted at quite a few other musicians’ gigs. I love it when local musicians show that kind of support for one another.

Bonneville's sure to share some new tunes at the Cactus since he’s readying the release of Bad Man’s Blood on A-list folk/roots indie label Red House at the end of the month. Follow-up to the highly praised Goin’ By Feel, a Gurf Morlix production from 2007, the new disc combines Bonneville's bluesy Americana with some melancholy storytelling that comes off like Guy Clark or Jesse Winchester.

Morlix is on board again for Bad Man’s Blood, this time serving as a guitar foil. With Bonneville’s own finger-picking, the layers of grit grow exponentially. He offers a sequel of sorts to “I Am the Big Easy,” the award-winning Goin’ By Feel tune, with “Mississippi,” a jump up rave about the rising river. “Good Times,” meanwhile, is a sultry summertime burner.

If you’re feeling low with the relentless heat and “exceptional drought,” a night with Bonneville’s blues could be as redemptive as a dip in Barton Springs.

Ray Bonneville, Aug. 4, 8.30pm, Cactus Cafe, Texas Union, 2247 Guadalupe.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Ray Bonneville
January in the Rear View
January in the Rear View
Bonneville and Marah tussle.

Jim Caligiuri, Feb. 6, 2008

More Cactus Cafe
KUT/KUTX Will No Longer Manage the Cactus Cafe
KUT/KUTX Will No Longer Manage the Cactus Cafe
University radio station terminates “disheartening” negotiations

Rachel Rascoe, May 21, 2021

Longhorns on Grande, Cactus on Longhorns?
Longhorns on Grande, Cactus on Longhorns?
As Grande takes the Longhorn Network, KUT shoots a music pilot

Richard Whittaker, Sept. 3, 2011

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017


Ray Bonneville, Red House Records, Gurf Morlix, Cactus Cafe, Griff Luneburg

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle