Ray Bonneville has taken a long and imaginative path in a remarkable music career that has taken him all over North America and Europe. Playing in his signature style and voice, Ray’s impressive catalogue reflects a keen eye for interesting characters and the common struggles we all face in everyday life.
Ray was born in Hull, Quebec (now Gatineau, Quebec), in a family that spoke solely French. His father found work in Boston, Massachusetts, and the family relocated to the USA where Bonneville, about to become a teenager, was placed into public school without knowing a bit of English. There, Bonneville fell behind in school, but took to music in a big way after a friend showed him how to play guitar. In his late teens Bonneville signed up for the United States Marine Corps, serving 13 months in the Vietnam War.
Later in the 1970s Bonneville began traveling the country exploring and absorbing musical styles, playing at festivals and small clubs across the United States, and opening for the likes of B.B. King, Muddy Waters, and Dr. John. He also learned how to fly a plane and through much of the 1980s supplemented his income by working as a flight instructor in New Orleans and Boston and then as a bush pilot in Quebec.
It was only in 1993, in his mid 40s, that Ray finally recorded his first album, On The Main. He has since released nine albums in total and has gained critical and popular acclaim everywhere. Ray’s single, On The Blind Side, was released in the summer of 2022 with an album soon to follow.