I used to live in Austin, be in a band and do the music thing. In '96, I got tired of rocking, became a chef, moved to California, wrote a cookbook--eventually I moved to Canada and opened a restaurant/music venue, The Branch Restaurant and Texas Grill that has hosted some of Canada's finest indie and roots musicians in an intimate listening room.
A few years ago, out of nowhere, the music all came rushing back, and now, at long last, I've finally pulled together some of my pals and recorded an album of personal, heartfelt, (occasionally even silly) tunes that reference my Texas country roots, my laid back California dreams, and my most recently acquired Canadian sense of fortitude and honesty. Couple that with a love of Beatle-y harmonies and genre hopping, a wide array of talented friends and some songs that felt important enough to put out in the world and you have 'Bonfire' a midlife 'cries "Yes!"' of an album that tells a story of life, love, community and even loss... The band had so much fun that we have continued to gig in various formations for all of 2013 and are currently back in the studio working on a slightly noisier follow up to Bonfire entitled 'Unseasonably Cool' and due out later this spring or early summer...
This album started when my mom asked me for another copy of the same crappy demos of my songs I'd been passing around for years, they were supposed to be placeholders, just for me and the band to learn their parts with--I decided on the spot that I would quit screwing around and just record the album, live, warts and all, invite all my best friends to help out and that I would release it. Now. Before Christmas--so here it is. The Branch (my restaurant, where this was recorded and where a fair amount of it was written and hashed out...) is all about community, working together, playing together--this album is a testament to that spirit--they are my songs, but this thing is the work of the whole community--'the Burning Sensations' is a cute band name I came up with a few years ago and just liberally apply to whoever is around to join in at any given moment--as you can hear--it has some pretty talented members at times--so thanks to them, especially Jay and Shawn Y., the two longest standing and most consistently participating members. I want to also especially thank Ben Mullin and Brad Turcotte--they, along with Steve Pelehos are members of a studio project I have popped in and out of over the last couple of years 'The Belarus Racing Team;' two songs here, 'Starting Over ' and 'Another Way to Smile' both live double lives here and with that crew in slightly different forms. Ben and Brad are also the magicians who conceived of this concept, spent lots of personal time on it and followed it through to the end, I will be forever grateful for their efforts...I am also grateful to my wife Nicole LeBlanc, the 'best thing that ever happened to me', of course, for her patience, of course; Matt Scott, my sous chef--I couldn't have done it without his help covering me on the line. And my mom, for asking for another copy...there are lots of other folks I am forgetting, I'm a grateful guy--listen to track twelve, you're in there somewhere, I love you all.
I call this album 'Bonfire' specifically because of the line in Track 11, 'All the Time,' that I wrote for my daughter Abigail--she is on the autism spectrum and I love nothing more than watching the bonfire that therapy and life sets in her eyes. I named it 'Bonfire' in general because fire and smoke are big themes in my music and my life, and I like the idea of a 'bon' or a a 'good' fire. But it also got that name because, I have to admit, as a native of Bryan, Texas, and having accumulated about 70 credit hours at Texas A&M...I am still a bit of an Aggie at heart. To an Aggie, there is a lot of spirit, community, even emotion wrapped up in the idea of a bonfire, of THE Bonfire, to anyone who has ever spent a moment or two in that culture--the bonfire to me is the sense of being at home--there, here, wherever, and whatever that is.
Bruce Enloe, acoustic guitar and lead vocals
Ben Mullin, lead guitar and vocals
Steve Pelehos, 12-string guitar and vocals
Shawn Yakimovich, violin and mandolin
Tom Graham, keyboards
Jay Williams, bass emeritus
Brad Turcotte, bass, album production
Shawn Brown, pedal steel
Mark Ettinger, drums
additional vocals by Heather Mullin, Doug Hendry and Greg Kelly; bagpipes by Tom Brown