A.A. Bondy’s 2007 release, American Hearts, is a deep album that begs the listener to take pause and give some thought and concentration to the music. His poetic words float over a sparse instrumentation to give them added weight. Upon hearing that Bondy would be flying solo at the session, my anticipation grew.
Fresh off catching O’Death and Elliott Brood a couple of nights before, seeing Bondy in the quiet studio was a 180 degree reversal and welcomed change of pace. I brought my son Teddy, Luke from Ha Ha Tonka joined us and, as we entered Shirk’s studio, A.A. Bondy arrived at the exact same time. His demeanor upon introduction and throughout the session was as easy going as we’ve had. The man puts off a great vibe.
As Bondy got settled in, he told us that he slept in his car at a rest stop last night. Not out of destitution, mind you. He just can’t stand the incessant chemicals that some of the major hotel chains use, so he prefers to avoid them altogether. That’s just an interesting side note.
He started off with “Mightiest of guns,” a track that you won’t find on a American Hearts, and slowly worked his way through four tracks off of the critically acclaimed album. Two highlights are “Rapture Sweet Rapture” and “There Is A Reason,” but it’s just as easy to listen to the finger-picking on “Vice Rag” and “World Without End.”
At a time when so many acts are playing music for the sales numbers instead of staying true to themselves, Bondy is refreshing beyond words. He is a true musician in every manner. Playing in front of three or three thousand, Bondy would pour his soul into every note.