27 Feb 2024

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Jimmy Bonar


Jimmy Bonar, 40 something singer-sonwriter is from Mt Eden, Auckland.

Born the week The Beatles were # 1 in America with 'Yesterday'.... that might sound pretty ancient but the man himself is nothing of the sort......born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand he lists amongst his major musical influences as The Beatles (whom he credits as shaping his outlook on music and life in general), Led Zeppelin, Sheryl Crow, Ryan Adams, The Small Faces, George Harrison………….but really the list is endless.

The first song Jimmy Bonar ever wrote was entitled 'Out of Nowhere' when he was 17 years old. Subsequently as he matured as an artist subconscious themes were forming and evolving - that of a continued exploration of his inner self coupled with an often simplistic yet engaging outlook on everyday life.

Jimmy’s debut album 'Blue Boy', released in 1995 gathered several favourable reviews. Critic Nick Bollinger, writing in the NZ Listener praised his “strong melodic skills” and a comparison to US singer Freedy Johnston (Elektra Records). PAVEMENT MAGAZINE noted his singing: “He has a voice you can’t help but love” and “would be worth a support billing with The Beatles circa ‘64”.

His sophomore album 'Full Circle', released in November 2005 continued this trend with RIP IT UP describing the album as “packed full of Beatlesque melodies", and TEARAWAY MAGAZINE noting its overall sound as 'jangle pop meets acoustic indie pop'. Although 'Blue Boy' is currently unavailable – 'Full Circle' is available through cdbaby.com)

Celtic music has always played a big part in his life – he is of Scots Irish descent and from 1992 to 1996 fronted popular Auckland Celtic band Twisty Willow. His songwriting for the band leaned heavily towards this genre and culminated in him contributing eight original songs for the band’s album 'Darkness In The Sky'. (Produced by Nick Abbott at York Street Studio 2)

Fast forward to March 2012 and the first new recordings of original songs by Jimmy Bonar in a number of years emerged as the album 'Working Class'. Produced by Joe Hoonhout at Auckland’s Ferryhill Studio, 'Working Class' was mastered for release at Stebbings Studios and released digitally on Amplifier, iTunes, and CD Baby. Jimmy’s take on the album was “that is was designed to make people think - it’s not about class struggle or the like; it’s more about relating to people with a working class attitude – loyal, hardworking, steadfast, and decent.” NEW ZEALAND MUSICIAN wrote: “Good catchy pop/rock songs packed with great vocal melodies. Bonar’s songwriting is assured, his band is tight, and his singing really suits this material”.

In 2013 Jimmy began work on a new project, but one of a major difference from his usual genre – that of recording a collection of easy listening songs - partially inspired by the Paul McCartney album 'Kisses'. The end result was the 14 song album '2 Sides To Jimmy B' (produced by Bonar). Since then he has been singing this genre in and around Auckland, and also busking in Melbourne’s CBD.

Not withstanding this different direction, his major love has always been rock music and Jimmy decided in 2014 to re-release the (currently digital only) recording 'Working Class' on disc. Whilst acknowledging the need to have his recordings available online, he always has believed in the old fashioned traditional concept of having ‘a record for sale’. “You may see a busker on the street” say’s Jimmy,”whose fantastic. You stop, listen, buy their CD, have a quick chat and leave thrilled to bits. You’ve just met and heard a genuine artist doing their thing. In this day and age I still believe in that concept.”
'Working Class' is available from Real Groovy Records, Queen St, Auckland, Southbound Records, Symonds Street, Auckland or from www.jimmybonar.com.

Jimmy’s latest project is a compilation entitled 'Greatest Bits', stemming from 1995 through to 2015. This will cover music from his time with Celtic band Twisty Willow, London based Lounge, some unreleased tracks, a selction from his three albums and two brand new songs. This is scheduled for completion in June 2015.


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  • Auckland

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