When life gets you down, it’s time to turn to the girl with the blue violin who has been delighting audiences all over the world at concert halls, clubs, colleges, coffeehouses, summer festivals and house concerts with her high-octane blend of folk, roots-based pop and rock. That’s Deni Bonet, the NYC-based pop/rock singer/songwriter and classically- trained violinist behind the brand-new, intentionally uplifting album,
It’s All Good, which will be released on February 12th. Known for her work with Cyndi Lauper, R.E.M., Sarah McLachlan, Robyn Hitchcock, and many others, Bonet’s self-released third solo CD is a blast of energy and enthusiasm.
It’s All Good was produced by former Bongos’ frontman and baroque pop savant Richard Barone and mixed and mastered by Steve Addabbo (Suzanne Vega) at Shelter Island Sound. On the record, Bonet is joined by an array of high-profile collaborators including R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, Fred Schneider of The B-52s, John Wesley Harding, ex-Wings drummer Steve Holley, Young Fresh Fellow/R.E.M. associate Scott McCaughey, and Broadway star Mary Testa.
The first single, “One In A Million”, features Deni on strings, Hammond B3, accordion and ukulele and includes Steve Addabbo on guitars, Barone on backup vocals, John Conte on bass and Bruno Esrublisky on drums.
Here’s a streaming link for “One In A Million”:
Barone’s distinctive vocal harmonies help lift disc-opener “Girl Lover.” It’s an infectious, tongue-in-cheek ode to “somebody famous whose name I can’t tell you, or I’d get sued,” confesses Bonet with a chuckle. Meanwhile, erstwhile B-52 Fred Schneider adds his inimitable interjections to “Girl Party.” But a few songs on It’s All Good remind us that we often have to laugh to keep from crying. “Safety Date” is a dark-hued ode to those girls who have to play second-best, featuring R.E.M.’s Peter Buck on 12-string guitar. And the title track actually chronicles the end of a relationship, becoming an anthem that defies us not to sing out our heartache. Bonet says, “If people are feeling blue, I hope they’ll say, ‘I want to put on Deni’s album’. I really want it to be something that can make people smile.”
Bonet, who continues to be an in demand session player, was an original cast member of National Public Radio’s premier music show, “Mountain Stage”, singing and performing in her own right and accompanying guests on the show – everyone from Richard Thompson to the Indigo Girls to Warren Zevon to Allen Toussaint. She left the show to pursue a solo career, with a mission to prove that there is more to the violin than concertos and hoedowns. Over the years she has recorded and performed with the aforementioned Robyn Hitchock (she appeared on the album Moss Elixir), Cyndi Lauper, R.E.M, Sarah McLachlan, amongst many others, before forming her own band.
In 2001 she released her full-length debut, Bigger Is Always Better, and her second solo album, Last Girl on Earth, came out in 2006.
With her own band she has performed at CMJ, SXSW, NXNE, Bumbershoot, the Yapi Credi Festival in Turkey, and the Lilith Fair, where she received an enthusiastic response from concert goers as well as the media. Bonet’s music has also been featured on HBO, NBC, American Airlines, and in several film and modern dance projects. She tours the US regularly and has opened for Patti Smith, The Gin Blossoms, Lisa Loeb, Cracker, Midnight Oil, The Tubes, Marshall Crenshaw and Fairport Convention, to name a few.
For a dose of instant uplift in sobering times, Bonet has a lot to offer – on disc and live. Over the years she has developed a reputation as an entertaining live act, featuring dynamic violin playing, conversational singing style and original, humorous performance and songs. On It’s All Good, she had a vision, and she says, “Now I hope I can make other people feel good, too.”