Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Bonne Villes - Bringing It Home (1966)



The Bonne Villes were one of the better white R&B-based acts to record for the Winston-Salem-based Justice label. A sextet consisting of Donald W. Cartner (drums), Curtis Buzzy Cobb (sax, organ), Butch Carl F. Steele (bass), Nelson M. Bradshaw (lead guitar), James Alan Lovette (lead vocals), and Gary Howe (vocals), they made their way across frat parties and local clubs from their native Salisbury on out, playing early- to mid-'60s R&B; mostly covers of songs by the Drifters, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, etc., spiced with occasional originals in a similar vein by Jim Lovette. They had a fairly sophisticated vocal attack, and their instrumental skills were up to the repertory they chose; witness Steele's attack on the bass on their cover of 96 Tears.********1 Stand by Me Bonne Villes 3:03 2 The Monkey Time Mayfield 2:47 3 Under the Boardwalk Resnick, Young 3:25 4 For Your Love Bonne Villes 2:05 5 96 Tears Martinez 2:07 6 My Girl Bonne Villes 2:25 7 Bring It on Home to Me Cooke 2:49 8 Helping Hand Bonne Villes 2:38 9 Thank You John Bonne Villes 2:32 10 In the Midnight Hour Bonne Villes 2:17 11 Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf Bonne Villes 1:35Review by Bruce EderNot a bad representation of the band's strengths, a collection of 11 tracks, mostly covers of R&B and rock & roll standards. The singing isn't up to the task of the most sophisticated material, including "Bring It on Home to Me," but the group does have a cohesive sound. Their originals simply don't hold up, however, and lackluster numbers like "Helping Hand" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" pale next to "My Girl," "Under the Boardwalk," or "96 Tears."
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