Jamie Bonk - My World


Canada is often recognized around the world for its vast wilderness, wide-open spaces & bountiful natural resources. But there is more to discover. I especially speak about the guitar music of Jamie Bonk. Most of the readers will be experts of guitar music. Peter White, Marc Antoine, George Benson, Michael O'Neill. The list is long and endless. Jamie's music concentrates on what is his best: the guitar. No, it's not a guitar-only album. There are some professional musicians which supported Jamie's endeavor: Sonja Mitlewski (keyboards, she's also responsible for the photos in the booklet), Ron Scott and Shelly Hamilton (vocals) and Peter Janson (acoustic guitar).

The result is surprising good. I dare to say sensational. His previous album received a lot of acclaims and best critics as you can read at CDBaby. His new one will beat these predecessors. Jamie admits: "The idea for this piece, and for the album in general, was to reflect all of the things musical, and otherwise, that help to define what I do. The challenge, of course, was to make music that didn't sound like a bunch of styles forced together and to let my own musical personality shine through. I think "My World" does just that. Over three years in the making, I think My World is my strongest and most diverse record to date."

The starter My World offers Jamie's strong guitar performance on a dynamic ride. His playing is flowing and perfect and he always find the moment for some musical reflection. "There's lots of improv, percolating worldbeat percussion, a bridge section with some folk/roots rock electric guitar and an overall upbeat feel to the track," comments Jamie.

This Is It presents an interesting combination of guitar and synthesizer music with louder and softer parts. Jamie admits: "This Is It" probably has the edgiest sound I've ever used. I particularly like the solo in this sample -- emotional and well-pace."

The explanation of the strange title of the next piece '73 is simple. Jamie: "One of my friends asked me if I named this piece "'73" because of the Hammond organ sound that's similar to tones you hear on older Deep Purple records. And the answer is partly yes! But it's also one of Sonya's favourite years... so it really had to be "'73". The song has a romantic intonation by using acoustic guitar and strings.

If This Is Love is presenting the raw voice of singer Ron Scott. Ron tailored this song for himself and it is a highlight of this album without any restrictions. Somehow the sound reminds me a bit at stronger songs of Climie & Fisher. 

Looking In is the song Jamie can identify himself with most: "In many ways, the solo in this sample is the closest to me as an artist. It truly expresses myself -- emotionally." The tune has a strong romantic and hooking potential.

When it goes to live performance Jamie likes the energetic play of Wiggle most. This tune is very guitar-oriented and the best manifest of Jamie's skills.

Third Time has some American flavor of the 60's. It evokes memories of the Eagles and some other groups of that time. Jamie mentioned Byrds and Chris Issak.

An homage to Maurice and the Bee Gees is Nights On Broadway presenting anew Ron Scott.

What I Never Said showcases the style Jamie was playing on his earlier albums. Quasi as a retrospection.

Shelly and Jamie's guitar are playing a duet on Centre Tone. Remarkable how she hits the syncopes. Somehow the female version of George Benson...

The final piece Waiting For Winter is a slow contemplative guitar piece, a dialogue between Jamie and Peter. Very expressive Sonya's keyboard background.

If you have a romantic vein don't miss this album. 

Further information

Jamie Bonk - Guitars & Programming
Sonya Mitlewski - Keyboards
Ron Scott - Vocals (4& 8)
Shelley Hamilton - Vocals (10)
Peter Janson - Steel String Acoustic Guitar (11)

Produced & engineered by Jamie Bonk

Additional engineering (11) by Steve Hunt at The Kitchen, Chelmsford, MA

All music composed by Jamie Bonk (Bonk Productions, SOCAN/ASCAP), except 4 written by Ron Scott (Ron Scott, SOCAN/ASCAP), 8 written by Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb (Gibb Brothers Music, BMI/Crompton Songs LLC, BMI), 11 written by Peter Janson (Eastern Woods Music Publishing, BMI) and Jamie Bonk (Bonk Productions, SOCAN/ASCAP)

Mastered by Andy Krehm for Silverbirch Productions

Art direction and design by Jeff McCann

Photography by Sonya Mitlewski and Jeff McCann

Bass Samples by Abraham Laboriel, Marcus Miller and John Patitucci courtesy of Spectrasonics Bass Legends.

Drum loops courtesy of Spectrasonics’ Backbeat. Drumming by Gregg Bissonette, Eric Boseman, John Ferraro and Bob Wilson.

Percussion loops and sounds by Bashiri Johnson and Eric Persing courtesy of Ethno-Techno, from ILIO Entertainments.