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People's Picks: Bonny Doon

People's Picks: Bonny Doon
People's Picks: Bonny Doon | Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

At this point Smithsonian Folkways has really managed to bridge the former notion of “heads-only” crate digging with the current style of music discovery, and the label marks an interesting place in the influence of Bonny Doon. When we were starting this band, sharing ideas, streaming was just starting to totally take over, but we had important record collections around the house where we practiced. I distinctly remember a physical copy of that Elizabeth Cotten record “Folksongs and Instrumentals with Guitar” getting a tremendous amount of play, and connecting the dots between what we marked as initial influences going clearly all the way back to this foundational music. The same goes for realizing those first few Lucinda Williams records were Folkways records, and that so many of the traditionals that the Dead either covered or interpreted had been originally collected on the label. It’s kind of inescapable, in a good way- everything goes back to this music, which is obvious, but also there’s something about the vastness of the catalog and the gravity of the label name on a record cover, it really maintains a special place for us.

Bonny Doon is the project of Bill Lennox (guitar and vocals), Bobby Colombo (guitar and vocals), and Jake Kmiecik (drums). This summer, they released their latest album Let There Be Music, full of dreamy, layered songs that're perfect for the season. They curate this month's People's Picks.

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