Karla Bonoff will bring more than 40 years of singing and songwriting to the Center for the Arts stage when she comes to Grass Valley for a duo with guitarist Nina Gerber Friday.
In addition to achieving chart success with her own recordings, many of Bonoff’s songs became popular hits during the 1970s and 1980s for artists like: Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt and Wynonna Judd. Many of Bonoff’s ballads are now pop classics.
The Los Angeles-bred artist feels she has always been as much a vocalist and performer as she is a songwriter.
“I don’t separate them, because I’ve written songs and performed from the beginning. People know me as a songwriter because other people recorded my songs, but I can’t really separate those things,” she said.
Born and raised in Southern California, Bonoff was a songwriter by the age of 15. She and her sister, Lisa, were writing songs and playing as a duo titled “The Daughters of Chester P” named after their father. At 16, she was performing at open mike nights at L.A.’s famed Troubadour club.
“It was an amazing time. Jackson Browne, James Taylor and Elton John were around the Troubadour in those days,” she said.
Linda Ronstadt scored hits with three of Bonoff’s songs on her 1976 “Hasten Down the Wind” album and the following year, Bonoff was signed as a solo artist to Columbia Records. At the time, Bonoff’s popularity took off. She was soon headlining shows in the Pacific Northwest and touring with James Taylor and Jackson Brown.
During a four-decade career, Bonoff has toured extensively, playing audience favorites again and again at sold-out shows around the world.
In 2007, Bonoff produced her first live album, “Karla Bonoff Live.” The two-CD set contains 21 songs, including two new compositions and some of her most popular material: “All My Life,” “Someone to Lay Down Beside Me,” “Tell Me Why” and “Lose Again.”
Guitarist Nina Gerber appears on the album. The tracks from the Live album have a special energy to them.
Tickets for the 8 p.m. Friday performance are $25 for members of the Center, $28 for non-members and can be purchased at the online, in person or by phone at the Center’s box office, 539-274-8384, ext. 14, or at BriarPatch Co-op.