Thursday, February 7, 2008

E is for Evening Hymns

I first heard Jonas Bonnetta's music when I clicked on The Acorn's "Top Friends" on Myspace nearly a year-and-a-half ago and I was instantly hooked. Bonnetta has a delicate and endearing voice which he augments with gorgeous layers of instrumentation that embellish without overwhelming. Under his own name, Bonnetta released the album Farewell To Harmony which was recorded at his parents' cottage and home but thanks to his skills as a recording engineer you'd be hard-pressed to call it a home-recording.

Since that full-length was released, Bonnetta has started to record under the name Evening Hymns which follows in the tradition of other 'bands' that are actually one guy who enlists a rotating line-up of other musicians to record, tour and perform.
According to the Myspace page, the rotation includes: Steve Hesselink, Peter Chatterton, Mika Posen, Shaun Brodie, Emily Heather Bennett, and Mike Duguay.

Winnipeg audiences finally got to see Bonnetta perform (along with Chatterton and Bennett) at Mondragon and the LO Pub in December under the Evening Hymns moniker, and I finally got to meet this artist who I had been emailing for over a year. No one was disappointed, and folks at the LO were treated to an especially memorable sing-along finale in front of the fireplace, led by the trio (the source of the picture at the top).

"Western Roads" was written well before the Evening Hymns made their wintry voyage to Winnipeg last December (Bonnetta says the trip was inspired by Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg), but it could have served as the soundtrack to their voyage. It comes from the Let's All Get Happy Together EP they were selling on their little tour. "Western Roads" is up right now on the bands' Myspace page and I recommend checking it out there as I don't know how to link it onto this page. I am however, linking "French Toast" off of Farewell To Harmony, one of the songs that hooked me initially.

French Toast

Evening Hymns Myspace page
Jonas Bonnetta's website

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