Ed Black - guitar, pedal steel; Brad Palmer - bass; Bo Siegel - drums; Chris Montan - piano, keyboards; Karla Bonoff - vocals, guitar, piano
Karla Bonoff gave some of her best songs to Linda Ronstadt, who cut three of them for her 1976 album, Hasten Down the Wind. She scored a huge hit with Bonoff's ballad about unrequited love, "Someone to Lay Down Beside Me," and got rave reviews for the other Bonoff songs she had cut, "Lose Again," and "If He's Ever Near." All of this was advantageous for Bonoff, for the exposure got her noticed by the music industry and garnered her a multi-album deal on Columbia Records. The problem was now three of her best songs were already old news to the public.
This, and the fact that Bonoff never embraced celebrity, are reasons why she never became the huge star she should have been. This show is one of two shows recorded on her first US tour for the King Biscuit Flower Hour. Here, Bonoff offers soulful renditions of several of excellent early compositions. Highlights include "Fields Of Fire," "Tracks Of My Tears," and "In A Big Country." Although Bonoff would never be a dynamic live performer, she was always able to give solid performances of the many exceptional adult pop songs she has written since the early-'70s.
Born and raised in Southern California (her father was a successful surgeon), Bonoff rejected a career as a music teacher to follow her dream of writing and performing music. After hanging out at open mic night at LA's Troubadour Club (where Elton John, James Taylor, and Cat Stevens would be found performing), she formed a band called Bryndle with Kenny Edwards, Andrew Gold, and Wendy Waldman. They were signed to A&M, but their debut album was shelved. Edwards and Gold eventually joined Linda Ronstadt's band, and Waldman got her own deal at Warner Brothers. The three, however, helped bring Bonoff to the attention of Ronstadt, who became a huge supporter.
Bonoff has continued to write, record, and perform. She re-formed Bryndle with Edwards, Gold and Waldman and recorded two albums in the 1990s. Her latest effort, a solo live album, was released in 2007 on Bonoff's own independent label.