Discover the headliner of the Florence Winter Music Festival | Local News
This year, the headliner of the Florence Winter Music Festival is Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Karla Bonoff.
The two-day event will take place on January 28 and 29 at the Florence Events Center, 715 Quince St. in Florence, and will be broadcast live. Music fans can warm up their winter with six bands of searing bluegrass, uplifting traditional and new folk, and stomping Americana.
Bonoff enjoyed critical acclaim, commercial success, enduring popularity, and the unwavering respect of his peers. Many of his songs have become hits for Bonnie Raitt, Wynonna Judd and Linda Ronstadt. People magazine ranked Bonoff’s “All My Life,” a Grammy-winning duet for Ronstadt and Aaron Neville, as one of the top five most popular wedding songs.
Bonoff released her self-titled debut album in 1977. Her recording of “Personally” peaked at No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 3 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1982. She also recorded “Somebody’s Eyes” for the Footloose ( 1984) soundtrack, had its own top ten single, “Standing Right Next to Me”, from the movie 8 Seconds (1994), and just released a new Christmas single with Michael McDonald.
According to its website, KarlaBonoff.com, Bonoff was born and raised in Southern California and was a songwriter at the age of 15. She befriended other singer-songwriters and musicians in the 60s who were creating their own unique sound. She talks about queuing up at the legendary Troubadour at noon on Monday to secure a spot in the famous Monday night Troubadour “hoot”, which was a training ground for many highly successful performers.
“It was an amazing time. Jackson Browne, James Taylor and Elton John were around the Troubadour at that time,” she recalled. There were other writer-singers who became friends with Karla, and eventually they decided to start a band. They were Kenny Edwards (who started the Stone Ponys with Linda Ronstadt and Bobby Kimmel), Wendy Waldman and Andrew Gold. Something powerful in their combined sound brought them together. Thus, the Bryndle Group was born. The band made an album for A&M, but it was never released. They were unfortunately a bit ahead of their time. “We were these two girls and two guys…the closest thing they could compare us to was the Mamas and the Papas.” The group never had the success it should have had.
Bryndle broke up, but he launched four very illustrious careers. Kenny and Andrew joined Linda Ronstadt’s band, and through this connection Ronstadt heard a demo of Bonoff’s “Lose Again”. “Hey, you know, that’s really good,” Bonoff recalled of Ronstadt, saying, “What else do you have?” On Ronstadt’s 1976 album “Hasten Down the Wind” there were three Bonoff songs, including “Someone to Lay Down Beside Me”.
Bonoff landed coveted spots on major tours, opening for James Taylor and Jackson Browne and earning rave reviews in Time magazine. Two subsequent albums, 1979’s “Restless Nights” and 1982’s “Wild Heart of the Young”, established Karla as one of LA’s leading artists and songwriters. His friends Joe Walsh, Don Henley, Timothy B. Schmit, Peter Frampton, JD Souther and his partners at Bryndle, all participated in the making of these albums.
In the early 90s, Bonoff and his bandmates at Bryndle decided it was time to reform the band since each had enjoyed numerous solo hits.
“When we decided to get this band back together,” Bonoff explains, “we realized that one of the things that was wrong the first time around was that we were all writing separately. We thought it would be great to write together and it turned out to be really fun.
After four years of hard work, they released Bryndle’s debut album in 1995.
Throughout the 2000s, Bonoff remained active while claiming some level of “semi-retirement”. She has chosen to limit her touring and songwriting to what she wants to do, when she wants to, without the pressure of record label contracts. His legacy as a writer and his perseverance as a performer are best expressed in a Billboard Magazine review of his recording “All My Life.” “Long before Alanis and Jewel, there was a race of singer-songwriters whose earthly hymns of introspection, sorrow and joy touched souls in ways few can muster today. “
Today, Bonoff continues to tour very selectively. She will headline the Florence Winter Music Festival on Saturday January 29 at 8:30 p.m.
The event begins with a free-to-the-audience mini-concert of Kristen Grainger and Dan Wetzel as the True North Duo on Friday, January 28 at 4:30 p.m. at the Oregon Pacific Bank Main Branch, 1355 Highway 101 in Florence.
Friday, January 28 lineup includes Growling Old Men at 7:00 p.m. and Appalachian Road Show at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, January 29, with Pretty Gritty at 1:00 p.m., Growling Old Men at 2:15 p.m. and Mary Flower at 3:30 p.m. Saturday night’s opening act is festival favorite Kristen Grainger and True North at 7:00 p.m., with Bonoff at 8:30 p.m.
On-site performances at the Florence Events Center are $98 for the two-day pass, $42 for Bluegrass Friday reserved seating, $31 for Saturday afternoon Folk/Americana general admission, and $49 for Saturday night’s headlining show.
New this year is a live streaming option. Prices are $20 each for Friday night bluegrass, Saturday afternoon folk/Americana, and Saturday night headlining show. A two-day live stream pass with full access costs $55. Links will be sent to each buyer before each show. The event will not be recorded for later viewing.
“This year’s festival experience will include more workshops, space for music-related exhibitors, more space for jamming, and food and drink options that are sure to please,” said Kirk Mlinek, president of the Florence Winter Music Festival.
The festival, presented by Sea Lion Caves, attracts attendees from every western state each year, is in its 20th year except for the season interrupted by Covid last year, and is produced and run by a dedicated team of volunteers from the non-profit Florence Arts, Culture & Entertainment (FACE).