Newsletter # 34 – January 12, 2017
Many thanks to Robert Craven for his review of my latest album Progress, as follows:
There comes a point in every performer’s career where creatively, they are evolving to the point where the next step transcends them to the next level.
Bonino’s ‘Progress’ a ten-track album, produced, mixed and performed by him, with the brilliant Jimmy Keegan on drums and vocals, is at this point – everything fits.
Bonino’s pedigree is steeped in American west coast rock, soaring vocals with an innate nous for grooves and hooks; notably the opening track ‘Call to Action’, ‘How to Save the World’ and ‘Confucius Says’, each a radio-friendly hit with a message to ponder.
‘The Bleeding Hand of ISIS’ is outstanding – a nod to Zeppelin, expressing the underlying unease of America’s role in the middle East, a grinding anthem for peace and reflection.
Similar to Bowie’s great leap forward after his Berlin days, Bonino isn’t afraid of risk; ‘Obsidian’, ‘Blood Bullet Playground’ are Bowie-esque scary monsters type songs which along with ‘Aphrodite’ push the boundaries of metal, synth and industrial drums and bass.
The message throughout Bonino’s work is peace, love and understanding, but for me the best track is ‘OK to Disconnect’, touching on themes of paranoia, on-line 24/7, it’s an intelligent, brilliant song which you will be humming to yourself as you pull the plug on your kids PS4.
The last track ‘Hard and Fast’, is speed metal belter, a bombast meld of Anthrax, Slayer and Metallica, with soaring guitars and meat processor drumming.
Everything about this album is pared down, clean and very well produced. The songs are strong throughout, never once mawkish of over-indulged. Bonino’s standard of musicianship and song writing is assured; nothing is left to chance, nothing is left to waste.
Having reviewed four of his albums, this one has breakthrough stamped all over it.
It’s his ‘Heroes’, ‘Low’ and ‘Lodger’ mashed into one.
Evolution of an artist. In a word; brilliant.
Robert Craven - Independent Music Review
Should you be considering purchasing any of my solo cds or those by Children Of The Moon or Zabocus, please pick them up at the MRR links below. MRR and I really appreciate it!
Thank you all for your great support!
Peace and love,
Newsletter # 33 – August 9, 2016
I am very pleased and honored to announce that Nick Katona at Melodic Revolution Records has offered to help promote my active cd catalog on his web site. I was introduced to Nick through my musical collaborations with Peter Matuchniak with whom I have recorded one studio and two live albums and am currently collaborating on future projects.
Should you be considering purchasing any of my solo cds or those by Children Of The Moon or Zabocus, please pick them up at the MRR links below. Nick and I will appreciate it and it will help drive more traffic to his site, in turn more PR for me.
Thank you all for your great support!
Peace and love,
Newsletter # 32 – May 10, 2016
I am overdue for a new Steve Bonino release so here it is: Progress hits the streets on July 1, 2016.
This album is about as eclectic as any album I've ever been involved with.
In The Bleeding Hand Of Isis a young American boy gets a rude awakening when he leaves his comfy home in Michigan and wakes up in an Isis compound.
Obsidian is me trying to imagine the state of mind of an alcoholic.
OK To Disconnect suggests throwing all our precious technology devices away and going back to a simpler lifestyle.
There is a song about two lovers and friends whose lives never quite line up, Never Come A Day.
Our precious school children being gunned down is lamented in the song Blood Bullet Playground.
Aphrodite is a song sung from the perspective of a male god on Mount Olympus who had a crush on Aphrodite only to watch her sour as her beauty starts to fade.
I learn a lot from Confucius in the song Confucius Says.
A Call To Action and How To Save The World address social issues.
The last song on the album Hard And Fast is either about sex or how I prefer my music ... depending on the day.☺
I sincerely hope you enjoy it and look for more original releases from bands I work with in the near future as I keep my nose to the musical grindstone.
Peace and love,
Newsletter # 31 – September 6, 2015
We are thrilled with the positive response Children of the Moon has received so far. Robert Craven has written this wonderful review of the album for Independent Music Review Ireland:
There is a cinematic sweep to this album. Steve Bonino, Pascale Elia and Jimmy Keegan’s ‘Children of the Moon’ ably supported by Brad Zapper, Amy Tori, Greg Lastrapes and Ryo Okumoto hark back to the golden era of the California sound, but keep one foot firmly planted in the present. There’s a sly chemistry between the musicians that is infectious and spreads through the songs and grabs each song and drives them along.
Elia’s vocals, ‘Live to See the Day’ and ‘My Young Man’ and ‘One Song at a Time’, can be both subtle and iron fist in the velvet glove, she reminds me of Janis Siegel in that respect. She spars easily with Keegan on ‘At the End of the World’ and offers superb harmonies to Bonino’s choruses on the funky, grooving ‘Children of the Moon’ and the more downbeat nearly whispered ‘Dreaming’. Both she and Bonino understand dynamics and seem to second-guess each other through the songs.
Children of the Moon aren’t afraid to take a finger-clicking good time song like ‘Everybody Loves Love’ and turn it into a song you find yourself humming later on. The same applies to ‘Always Sunny’, which has a Paddy McAloon-Prefab Sprout feel. The outstanding ‘Isadora Danced’ is a bitter sweet song with complex rhythms and a twist halfway through in the lyrics. Each song is outstanding, but for me ‘Fuchsia Heaven’, the clock-work music-box ‘Minor Seconds’, ‘Dreaming’ and ‘My Young Man’ stand tall alongside anything by Fleetwood Mac, Paul McCartney and Robert Plant / Alison Krauss.
This is a fabulous album and a great leap into the unknown. This trio are on top of their game; Keegan’s drumming is exceptional and sympathetic to the mood of the piece, Elia has a wonderful engaging style and Mr. Bonino surely must get his place in the sun – the Californian one of course.
Buy it / download it – pull the hood back and don the Wayfarers and head out for the coast with this blaring.
Recommended with all the stars – Robert Craven
Love and peace,
Newsletter # 30 – July 20, 2015
The result of over five years of hard and creative work, this unique collaboration of performers and styles (Pascale Elia, Jimmy Keegan and Steve Bonino) has produced material that is often very different from what you hear on the radio, and yet hooky enough to tickle the ears while you contemplate the humanity in the lyrics. Music for the mind and heart!
As always, I can't wait for you to hear it and to get your feedback.
Love, peace and inspiration,
Newsletter # 29 – April 1, 2015
Here is what Robert Craven of Independent Review Ireland had to say:
Zabocus – Sublime Americana – ZABOCUS are Ted Zahn and Steve Bonino who together, explore the richness of American song writing. All 12 tracks encompass the rich heritage with tracks that are reminiscent of the Southern Californian easy rolling of CSN&Y, Joni Mitchell and James Taylor on such tracks as ‘Wakeup EZ’, ‘Better Days’ and ‘Moonlight Tribe’. ‘Maggie’s Saloon’ is reminiscent of Randy Newman’s southern symphony, ‘Good Old Boys’ and captures a twinkle in the eye that is a constant through Bonino’s projects.
The songbook and heritage rolls back further with Zhan’s voice a gravelly blend of Kris Kristofferson, Woody Guthrie and Burl Ives on ‘Jackie’ and compliments Bonino’s higher register on the songs ‘On Our Way’ and ‘Earth and Moon.’ Zahn’s voice brings an earthy gravitas to the tracks but has, like Bonino an innate understanding of dynamics and conveys each word with conviction.
What stands out the most on this album is the ease in which the pair interact, with a very high standard of backing musicians; Scott Connor, Kelly Moore, Marcus Dawson, Janine Miller, Elaine Zahn, Dino Colli, Damian Meadows, Debbie Tindle, David Gilman and Jake Barker adding to the tracks.
‘Will I See Her Again’, ‘Your Eyes / Mistress’ and ‘One Song at a Time’ are for me, the strongest songs on the album, but there is something for everyone on ZABOCUS.
This is a wonderful album and a joy to review, this is a wonderful collaboration of two musicians firing on all cylinders and a recommended album to have playing while you’re chilling out, watching an August sunset and enjoying a slowly-aged malt or cold Zinfandel.
For those of you who loved Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’s ‘Raising Sand’ this is a definite buy / download and you won’t be disappointed. Looking forward to their next collaboration, which will hopefully be sooner rather than later.
Thank you for support.
Peace and love,
Newsletter # 28 – January 8, 2015
Hi friends and welcome to the new year. I will be releasing quite a bit of music in 2015, and as always, I look forward to your feedback!
Children Of The Moon is finishing up mixes as we speak for our debut self-titled album. Folk – rock – pop – art rock – country pop — all these styles are represented in this collaboration with Pascale Elia and Jimmy Keegan. I am excited to hear the finished product which will be very soon now. With only the demo of "Live To See The Day" released and a bit of social media elbow grease, we have been named a VIP Artist by the very popular 365 Radio Network. Not a bad start for something not yet launched.
The debut album by Zabocus is finished mixing as of this week. It will be mastered next week and we are on schedule for our mid-February launch. Ted Zahn and I are proud of our creation. It is a very interesting experience. Beatles influenced music with a touch of country, rock, pop and even classical music – bite my tongue . . . what are we doing? Find out for yourself at zabocus.com, our web site portal to all things Zabocus.
Wishes for a brilliant 2015 to you, your friends and your loved ones.
Peace and love,
Newsletter # 27 – September 17, 2014
Just updating you on two folk rock albums I have coming out before the year ends.
Children Of The Moon's debut album is just about finished. I think it has some fun tunes on it you'll enjoy. Other than a performance or two, most of the mixing is done, so it's mostly mastering and releasing it.
Whew . . . we started working on it five years ago and I thank you for your patience, especially those who contributed to our Indiegogo campaign.
Zabocus, my mostly acoustic album with my collaborator, Ted Zahn, is almost done recording. Then there's mixing and mastering and a late fall release. I really think you'll enjoy it and can't wait for you to hear it. Ted is a very creative individual and good friend!
Other than that, the fun business of performing private events, weddings and clubs with my cover band The Trip goes on. So far, 2014 has been a good year for us and we look forward to having a busy holiday season. If you know anyone who needs a great holiday party band, please send them our way: http://www.tripband.com. Those who have see us play know they will be well entertained!
Thank you, love and peace,
Newsletter # 26 – July 9, 2014
In addition to our launch, we have been taken on by Eagle Eye Promotions for an exclusive promotional campaign. They are affliated with 365 Radio stations and are extremely supportive of BPO as we are of their radio broadcasts.
We hope you will help spread the word and get us off to a running start.
Thank you all for your support.
Newsletter # 25 – June 16, 2014
Exciting news! Blue Plasma Orb's debut album is scheduled for a 7/7/14 release and will be available for download on iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby on or around that date. We are pressing physical cd's and I will post as soon as they are in hand. They will soon be available on iTunes and CD Baby as well.
We are pursuing reviews prior to our release date and our first review just came in:
Album review: BLUE PLASMA ORB – Blue Plasma Orb
After following California-based band Blue Plasma Orb online for a while now, it’s a joy to finally get to listen to their self-titled debut album. The band delivers the musical goods with a clean, shiny classic rock sound that hearkens back to the golden rock of the 1970s, and makes me think of bands like BTO, The Eagles, and Steve Miller. With hooky melodies, top-notch vocals, and a lineup of musicians that have the experience and the skill to please your ears, this is a real honest-to-goodness summer-soundtrack - the perfect thing for a July release (the album is out on July 7th!).
Blue Plasma Orb’s sound feels refreshingly clean and uncluttered (you know, like real music), and the tunes are given some satisfying weight and warmth by the tasty blues-vibes that are added to the mix, as well as some real funky grooves to heat things up. The album opens with the rocking and rolling “Fight” — a high energy track with a riff that grabs you from the get-go. Other standout tracks for me include “Strange Things” with some gorgeous deep-and-lustrous guitar gloss; the dreamy and high-flying “Rocket”; and the absolutely terrific swing and groove of “Lightning N’ver Strikes Twice”. Other keepers are “Lazy Days” with its laid-back, breezy Steve Miller-feel (perfect for a cold drink in the hot sun), and “Whatcha Gonna Do” which grabs your attention with a heavy, hooky guitar and bass and some smooth, bluesy flavour.
One of my favorite tracks here is “Fire and Ice” — there’s some beautiful guitar work here to go with the tender, expressive vocals, and the whole tune just kind of glistens with soulfulness.
If you’ve got a taste for well-crafted classic rock powered by good melodies, musical craftsmanship and great vocals, then you’re in luck: just put your mitts on this rock-solid debut by Blue Plasma Orb.
Maria Haskins, "Under Further Review"
More reviews to follow.
Peace and love,
Newsletter # 24 – May 2, 2014
Significant progress has been made in the Children Of The Moon recording sessions. Just a few tracks to go, then mixing and mastering. The album will be ready soon!
Peter Matuchniak and Friends second album on which I play bass and sing is deep into production. The band members are all contributing to the composition and arrangement of the songs and I can feel something special is in the works so stay tuned.
The Zabocus (Ted Zahn and I), and Duncan's Heart (Brett Duncan and I) albums are in production and are coming along very well. They sound really good so far and I'm excitied to hear them as they develop.
The Blue Plasma Orb debut album (Billy Bishop, Greg Peters, Matt Magiera and I) is being mastered imminently so I will soon be posting about its release.
El Kaye has directed a great, funny, kitschy video for my song GodSexMoney from the Peace Rocks album which we have posted as our current featured video. I am confident you'll enjoy it and look forward to your feedback!
Peace and love to all,
Newsletter # 23 – February 7, 2014
I have been a busy boy.
BLUE PLASMA ORB
The album cover above is the debut album by Blue Plasma Orb for whom I play bass and sing along with Billy Bishop and Greg Peters on guitars and Matt Magiera on drums. The album is mixed and very soon to be released and sounds really good. I look forward to your feedback.
CHILDREN OF THE MOON
Children Of The Moon is in the studio finishing up our debut album. To all our very generous Indiegogo contributors, I really appreciate your patience. Your perks are coming soon. We are getting together as schedules permit. Jimmy Keegan has been a busy boy as well with Spock's Beard and many other projects, as has Pascale Elia with her busy recording and performance schedule in Las Vegas.
I am halfway through tracking an album with Brett Duncan (guitar / keys / composer) under the moniker "Duncan's Heart". This stuff rocks very melodically. Strong material!
I have started working with vocalist / guitarist / keyboardist / composer Ted Zahn, whom I met performing in the Peter Matuchniak and Friends in Concert last year (now available on DVD.) We are teaming with bassist / vocalist / composer Marcus Dawson to record a debut album under the moniker "Zabocus" (a combination of letters from our names). We are currently in the studio cutting tracks. Very CSNY, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell influenced music. I'm really enjoying this collaboration with such fine gentlemen.
I am working on Peter's second solo album with the other members of Peter Matuchniak and Friends featuring Scott Connor (drums), Steve Bonino (bass), Paul Mouradjian (keyboards), JoJo Nakano (sax), Peter Matuchniak (guitar), Natalie Azerad, Alyssa Matuchniak, Ted Zahn (Vocals). The new material is really strong and I can't wait to dig in!
I plan to have a new album out in 2014. I have many songs in the works and should be able to piece together a nice selection of my eclectic rock songs for you!
I wish you all a great year filled with love, music and inspiration!
Newsletter # 22 – September 20, 2013
Many thanks to all of you who contributed so generously to our Children Of The Moon Indiegogo campaign. And a big hats off to our secret sponsor who matched the funds dollar for dollar! We are now in the process of finishing the self-titled debut album which we hope will have an early 2014 release. Your perks will be shipped upon completion of the CD. We will keep you all posted!
Meanwhile, I am still promoting my pair of Peace Rocks albums and performing all over with The Trip, The Strangers, Peter Matuchniak and other opportunities as they arise.
I am looking forward to an exciting holiday season and a great 2014, both of which I hope you enjoy as well.
Peace and Love,
Newsletter # 21 – August 1, 2013
Our campaign is to raise money to finish the self-titled debut album by our new band CHILDREN OF THE MOON: Jimmy Keegan on drums and vocals, Pascale Elia on vocals and Steve Bonino on guitar and vocals – 3 unique talents blending to create one unique sound!
While working on a solo album for Steve, he and Jimmy realized there was a wealth of material that was incredibly strong but not fitting of Steve’s solo album. Steve had been working with Pascale singing around town. Her undeniable voice seemed to be a perfect fit to some of the material and thus the idea was born. They could tell immediately that the blend of the voices and creative minds was something very special.
The music of Children Of the Moon is timeless. These words of peace, love and humanity and haunting melodies will stick with you for a lifetime. This is music that defies a genre. Writing, singing and playing straight from the heart: we wish for our music to become part of you.
We need your help to finish this project in a manner fitting of the art it has become. The songs are written and much of the tracking is complete but it will need to be turned over to Rich Mouser (Producer, recording and mastering engineer for Spock’s Beard) to complete the process. Only an artist of his caliber can bring this project to the level it deserves. Mixing, mastering, artwork and pressing of the discs will require help on your part. Choose a package and become one of The Children Of The Moon.
Jimmy, Pascale and Steve
Newsletter # 20 – July 11, 2013
The little brother of "Peace Rocks", "The Peace Rocks Sessions" is now available for download.
The album includes 12 new swinging psychedelic songs for your listening pleasure.
So, take a trip with me back to the 60's on a wave of peace and love (and don't forget your sunscreen.)
Newsletter # 19 – July 8, 2013
The Trip with special guest Robert Stevens had the crowd cheering and dancing at the El Segundo Summer Concert series on Sunday October 7th.
We hope to see you at our next summer concert.
Peace, Steve B.
Newsletter # 18 – July 6, 2013
The Trip had a great turnout rocking the city of Walnut 4th Of July celebration. It was loads of fun!
Peace and Love!
Newsletter # 17 – June 24, 2013
Victor Tassone won a copy of Peace Rocks on my recent AiiRadio interview and was awesome to post this photo on Facebook. It warms my heart!
You can listen to the AiiRadio interview with Tony Romero below!
Peace and Love!
Newsletter # 16 – June 1, 2013
Please help support our neighbors in Oklahoma through this very difficult time.
I am proud to be a contributor to the Tornado 13 compliation CD by Musicians Together:
It's only $5 so please help Oklahoma rebuild.
God Bless You.
Peace and Love!
Newsletter # 15 – May 30, 2013
Question: When are 2,000 screaming women not a bad thing?
Answer: When they're screaming for you!
Just got back from the big island of Hawaii where I played with The Trip featuring Brody Dolyniuk at a big corporate event for Partylite. Good times.
Peace and Love!
Newsletter # 14 – April 20, 2013
On 4-19-13 I was invited by Tyler Russell at KX93.5 Radio to come down to the station with my acoustic guitar to play a couple of tunes live and to promote my new "Peace Rocks" album. This is the interview:
Newsletter # 13 – April 16, 2013
For the third year in a row, The Trip will be performing at The Centurions event in Tucson, Arizona to help the raise money for St. Mary's, St. Joseph's and Holy Cross Hospitals in the Tucson area. Between five and seven thousand people are expected to be in attendance.
Peace! Steve B.
Newsletter # 12 – March 16, 2013
I'd like to thank you all for your wonderful support.
Please help me promote PEACE ROCKS by following me and inviting your friends to do the same at the social media links below:
Newsletter # 11 – February 21, 2013
My top 10 singer / songwriter albums:
These are some artists who influenced me. I'd love to see what your taste in music is, so please post your favorites as well!
1. Tea For The Tillerman - Cat Stevens
2. Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme - Simon And Garfunkel
3. Court And Spark - Joni Mitchell
4. Tapestry - Carole King
5. Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road - Elton John
6. For Emma, Forever Ago - Bon Iver
7. After The Goldrush - Neil Young
8. Highway 61 Revisited - Bob Dylan
9. I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning - Bright Eyes
10. Sea Change - Beck
Newsletter # 10 – December 26, 2012
As a thank you for purchasing Peace Rocks, I'd like to send you a free digital download of my new two song single "Psychedelic Barbarella" and "Bringin' It".
All you have to do is Email me and let me know what you think of Peace Rocks and I'll email you the two songs. I think you'll like them too!
I can't wait to hear from you.
Newsletter # 9 – December 24, 2012
I am so pleased to announced that I've just given birth to a bouncing baby album. I named it Peace Rocks, it's a boy, 2 oz. He's adorable and smiles all the time. When you get a chance stop by and say hello. I'm sure he'll like you.
The album is available for download at CD Baby now and iTunes and other sellers will be on board within the next couple of weeks. I should also have physical CD's available on CD Baby within the month.
I look forward to your feedback on my blog, and if you like the album please tell a friend.
Thank you so much for all your love and support.
Newsletter # 8 – December 20, 2012
Due to the holidays, there has been a slight delay in the release of Peace Rocks. The official release day is the "end of the world day", December 21st, but it will not be available for download until Christmas Eve day, December 24th. Merrrrry Christmas!
Thank you for your patience. I can't wait to hear your feedback.
Peace and love, Steve B.
Newsletter # 7 – December 13, 2012
Something is coming. I don't know exactly when, I don't know exactly how or why, but it will be here soon and with a thunderous noise.
BPO aka Blue Plasma Orb will be releasing its 1st album in the new year and I am a part of it. I'd love to give you a sneak preview but I can reveal no BPO before its time. All I know is that it will rock . . . hard.
Happy Holidays to all you naughty . . . oh, okay and nice people too!
Peace and love, Steve B.
Newsletter # 6 – November 14, 2012
I'm here at Armando Cepeda's home studio with Armando at the computer and Mike Lewis (holding the camera) putting some final touches on "Construction" from my soon to be released cd Peace Rocks. Verrrrrrrrrrrrrrry close to being ready. I'm very excited and owe a lot of credit to all my friends who shared their talents in helping record and mix it.
And here I am with my new original modern classic rock band Blue Plasma Orb recording at Richard Bredice's studio. Greg Peters is holding the guitar, Richard Bredice at the console, Bill Bishop holding the camera and me. Only drummer Matt Magera was not present at this session but he played wonderfully and I can't wait for you all to hear the cd, which should be out soon as well. I'll keep you posted.
Peace and love, Steve.
Newsletter # 5 – October 8, 2012
Between chili dogs, ice cream and kettle corn the attendees of Tustin Tiller Days found time to catch the thunderous rock sounds of The Trip. They applauded and danced and then returned to their regular programming.
Peace and love, Steve.
Newsletter # 4 – August 14, 2012
The Trip rockin' the Whittier Summer Concert series. Once again from the daylight . . .
. . . into the night, fans were hopping and bopping and having loads of fun . . . as did the band. We look forward to seeing YOU at an upcoming event.
Peace and love, Steve.
Newsletter # 3 – July 15, 2012
Starting in the day . . .
. . . . and into the night on July 11th, 2012, The Trip rocked the poor, unsuspecting city of Signal Hill, CA into fits of unorthodox dancing maneuvers. Children were also affected by this strange music. One blond-haired boy was seen dancing like Roger Daltrey at his most rocking. I'm sure he will have a bright future.
Peace and love to you all.
Newsletter # 2 – June 11, 2012
At the end of May, my cover band "The Trip" was invited by lead vocalist supreme, Brody Dolyniuk to back him up at a "Partylite" event. This was nice enough . . . except that it was at The Hard Rock Hotel – Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Suffice it to say we had comped flights, luxury accommodations, free food, booze as well as gorgeous surroundings and over a thousand screaming women at the event. Once again . . . nice work if you can get it!
Not trying to gloat, (maybe pinching myself a bit) just sharing the good times with you. I can assure you all my events are not this glamorous, but sometimes the stars do align very nicely!
I wish peace and love to you all.
Newsletter # 1 – June 2, 2012
This is my first Newsletter and I am happy to share some fun with you. In May, my cover band The Trip was invited to perform at a children's hospital charity event in Tucson, AZ in front of 5,400 people, and as you can see from the pictures it was a PARTY!
I'm so lucky to work with great guys and perform at these kind of events. It's good work if you can get it! We were treated like kings and made so many friends there we feel like we are family.
A Peace Rocks album update:
I am going into the studio with Mike Lewis from The Trip to cut the last two drum tracks for the album late this June. Meanwhile I am feverishly mixing the remainder of the album.
It is a big challenge for me to wear both the creative "songwriter / producer / performer" hat as well as the "mixer / engineer" hat. I am doing the best I can and have had help from several friends. Hopefully the album will be out by the fall. I am planning on it and can't wait for your feedback and support.
Any ideas for promotion or creating a ground team to spread the word about the album would be truly appreciated. I would love to get airplay and album reviews in magazines, so if anyone has any connections I look forward to your help.
Thank you so much and I wish you all peace and love,