“Beginnings” is Bonnie’s thirteenth album but chronologically her first. Rich Warren recorded her in 1969 at the legendary Chicago folk club The Earl Of Old Town and at the University of Illinois, soon after Bonnie came to Chicago. She had quickly become the queen of the hot Chicago folk music scene with her clear powerful voice and her passionate performing style resulting in sold-out shows on a nightly basis, often several shows a night.
“Beginnings” celebrates the forty-plus years of music comprising Bonnie’s musical career to date with a selection of songs from those early recordings. The songs range from Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Steve Goodman and Eddie Holstein to Beatles, Gershwin and Billie Holliday, Bonnie’s own song Rainy Day Lady, the rousing blues You’ve Been A Good Old Wagon and her version of Amelia Earhart’s Last Flight.
The accompaniments by Ray Frank on guitar and George Stevens on bass are outstanding throughout, at times enhanced by John Mathis on flute and the harmonica of Harmonica Bob, a fixture at The Earl Of Old Town.
The CD graphic design features photos taken at the Earl in 1969 by Chuck Osgood.
Other recent releases are “Here To Sing”, a 2006 studio recording, “Timeless”, a double CD of selected performances between 1970 and 1995, and “A Bestiary”, an art book and accompanying CD of block prints and poems about farm animals set to music. All are available at cdbaby.