Karla Bonoff Energizes Past With Present: Tales From The Tavern at the Maverick Saloon

By Nancy Chuda founder and Editor in Chief of LuxEcoLiving and co-founder of Healthy Child Healthy World

Santa Ynez Valley Maverick Saloon Tales From The Tavern

Karla Bonoff sings to a sold out crowd wanting more

It's about pure unconditional love.... isn't that what we all need?

Tootsie, is a well mannered and I might add, fine tuned loveable little rescued dog belonging to the one and only Nina Gerber. When this pampered and paparazzi sought after pet entered center stage, walking over a myriad of electrical connections that could have easily "popped" a weird sounding guitar lick, the audience raved with enthusiasm... out loud! Yep! It's gonna be a great night... Tootsie's in the house. WATCH!


The Maverick Saloon is celebrating its 10th year of Tales From The Tavern, a Faberge experience if there ever was one. Last night, we experienced another intimate performance with Bonoff fans young and...Boomerish. The Tales of this tavern will someday be as valuable as the book of Kells; to the heartfelt supporters who come every year and listen to " legends" perform.

I was there for a rowdy round-up the night Jeff Bridges gave his crazy heart to the crowd. What a terrific night that was!

Speaking of legends, Nina Gerber is probably one of the finest female acoustic guitarists on the planet. Forget that feminist comment. Let's just say she is! Low-key, ever present, chord after chord, her signature fingerprint creates the ambiance for more than just melody... it is like the central nervous system to a body only in this case it is more than just a musical sound. It's a lasting imprint that carries memory and imbues it to the soul.

Gerber set the stage for the brilliant singer songwriter, Karla Bonoff, whose historic career began in the 60's in Los Angeles, first with guitar lessons in Hollywood on Vine and later onstage backed by a crescendo of hip hugger clad dancers at the Troubadour.

Bonoff is wise in her choice of words and self-parodies as she revitalizes and recounts her past successes, turning hits into royalties not only for herself but others. She told a classic story about famed country singer, Wynonna Judd. "I call her Y... which stands for Wynonna. Everyone calls her Y, no need to mention Judd, just call her Y." So Y called me one day and said," Karla, I want to record that song." And I said, "why," and she said because I like it." I replied with "that's great Y!" And then she asked, "why don't you come down to the studio and help me record it?"And I said, "why?" And then Y said, "maybe you could do some background vocals for me?" And I said,"Y, No!" and that's how Y got to sing Tell Me Why.

Not that it was all that hard for Karla to give up the song to an artist that would help it soar up the charts. I think, she's smart and savvy, a think tank for commercial artists like Wynonna, who got trapped in a corporate identity crisis where her label mandates were based on record sales instead of her freedom to choose. And so many other artists were lucky to land a Bonoff composition. "Home" by Bonnie Rait,"Isn't It Always Love" by Lynne Anderson. Linda Ronstadt has recorded a number of her songs, notably three tracks on the 1976 album Hasten Down the Wind - "Someone To Lay Down Beside Me", "Lose Again" and "If He's Ever Near", which introduced the then-unknown Bonoff to a mass audience.

Her voice is perfection. She conjures memories with both spoken words and songs. Keeping alive the flames of her youth and dedication to other artists, there was one very emotional moment when she held a gifted guitar by one of the members of her touring band, the now deceased Kenny Edwards (guitar, bass, mandolin, cello, vocals). It's hard to lose the touch and sensitivity of an artist's contribution to the whole but having Nina Gerber onstage brought new vibrancy and electrified his gifted memory.

For the women in the audience and men whose many sexual liaison's in the 70's led to a pattern of unrelenting indiscretion, Bonoff pulled at her own heart strings, admitting self-pity for what was more than just memory... but instead the story of her life.

Laying down lyrics with bedside manners, her words, "Lonely faces will step through your eyes in the night." Like an Eveready battery, Karla Bonoff continues to pulse her raw and edgy talent with sensitivity and being present for her performance is and always will be her truthful gift about love.


Editor's Notes:

Behind the scenes with Carole Ann Colone and her brother Ron, Artist Advocates and Producers who help to inspire more signature performances for Tales From The Tavern. To find out more and how to buy concert tickets in advance check out their website.