Sometimes it backfires to be too good of a songwriter. I talked about Leonard Cohen yesterday, who has had songs covered by everyone. Wikipedia claims “over 2,000 renditions of Cohen’s songs have been recorded.”
I knew Cohen’s music before I knew Cohen as a singer and a complete artist. The same can be said about Karla Bonoff. While her voice is a beautiful combo of early Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt and Joni Mitchell, most people know her songs as interpreted by others. That was me.
“Home” was covered by Raitt. “Someone To Lay Down Beside Me,” “Lose Again,” and “If He’s Ever Near” were covered by Ronstadt. She actually sang back up for Linda and also Wendy Waldman before going solo.
Karla is a great writer, obviously, but her voice deserves to be heard as well, not only through others, but in its own glory. It is exquisite and simple and lovely… it just soothes the soul.
Karla Bonoff – The Best of Karla Bonoff: All My Life
This is a great overview of her career and that sweet voice. The whole thing is like a lullaby… something to listen to when you need to just sit and be and contemplate… Hers is one of those rare voices that just takes you away and makes you feel good about things.
Years ago I was doing some work for Rhino Records on their Listen to the Music series (a three-volume tribute to the singer-songwriters of the ’70s). I so need to work for them again… What a great label…
I think this might have been the first time I heard Karla. “Lose Again” became one of my favorite, most special songs… and as some of you know, just the other week it randomly (or perhaps not) popped back into my brain! All of the songs mentioned up above are on this great collection.
She is also a member of Bryndle, which includes Wendy Waldman, Kenny Edwards and Andrew Gold, but the band has not been active for a while, and Gold had left before that.
Today is the Jewish New Year… a day to celebrate and think… to have joy but to also evaluate your life and what you can do to make yourself and the world a better place. Pretty deep and heady stuff. This is one of those albums that quiets a lot of your inner turmoil, and on a day like today, an ideal choice.