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Bonnie Fides: Impromptu

The project began as a musical gift to Bonnie, the U of I Rhetoric department secretary who retired in spring, 2001. Close affiliation with the department (either direct or by proxy) resulted in a musical gift at her farewell party. Carol, Tim, and Mircea invited Dave to join them on lead vocals. Will Jennings who is the permanent harmonica player of the Big Wooden Radio, agreed to add harp.

We probably had no more than five rehearsals under our belts before the deadline arrived. Will joined us only for the final rehearsal (and the gig). The rehearsal was recorded without anyone’s knowledge (well, almost) and resulted in 70 minutes of rough but spontaneous tracks. The material is mostly classic rhythm and blues, in the manner of Stevie Ray. There are no originals on the record—we were simply having good afternoon fun with stuff we are all familiar with.

Tim ran his guitar through a miced vintage Fender tube amp. Will used his personal arsenal which included a Shure bullet microphone running through a Pod. The rest of the tracks were taken direct. There were no overdubs. The tracks were recorded in sequence and if they sound quite different from one to the next, the mixing engineer is responsible for that.

After the gig which was good but sounded nowhere near the CD, I processed the recording and attempted to give each song a different flavor. The CD is available for general consumption and if you want a copy, please let me know.


  1. Blue on Black
  2. Kansas City
  3. Cold Shot
  4. Little Sister
  5. Some Kind of Wonderful
  6. Johnny B. Goode
  7. Mustang Sally
  8. Level With the Ground
  9. Brown-Eyed Girl
  10. Before You Accuse Me
  11. Wild Nights
  12. Pride and Joy
  13. Superstition
  14. Empty Arms
  15. Hands to Yourself