As I was entering the Englewood Art Center, a woman was enjoying what I thought was a smoke break outside. Bonnie Hays is more au courant than I assumed. She wasn’t smoking. She was vaping. Still, I teased her with “Always better with a coffee.” To which she replied, “Maybe…though my preference is Maker’s Mark or Old Grand Dad.” Bourbons, I think from my narrow taste experience.
That exchange hinted at the good stuff to come. Bonnie Hays performs, singing in a slightly raspy voice that suggests mileage on the odometer but many miles still available.
Bonnie’s version of the House of the Rising Sun transported us all to the south Louisiana bayous. You could just taste the crawdads in the gumbo. Her version was a retuned update of the 1960’s Animals’ classic. Many of the audience favoured the update, a notable step away from the classic version.
Then she asked if the audience might like her doing Bonnie Raitt. She chose to sing her own composition, “Tough Times,” which many of the audience accepted as an excellent spin-off of Raitt’s “Love me like a man,” which she also sang. Country and western in sound, reinforced by her own guitar accompaniment, Hays not only plays with gusto and enthusiasm but dressed all in black, standing tall and erect, she projects a life lived to the fullest with much more to come.
March 29th is the End Zone in Englewood
April 10 at Common Grounds in North Port
The Englewood Art Center crowd showed their appreciation of her performance with well-deserved applause and enthusiastic support.
Good stuff Bonnie !