Regina Bonelli’s “Don’t Put Your Hands On Me” Released For Blues Fans Everywhere
At first sight, voluptuous New York Blues Hall Of Famer Regina Bonelli is the last person you want to hear telling you “don’t put your hands on me,” she is a burning hot old school beauty with lungs to beat a band to and a roar of sensuality of rough hewn maneater proportions. But her warning on the her latest single,”Don’t Put Your Hands On Me” on True Groove Records, proves there is nothing more attractive than a strong woman:
“You can put your hands together when you pray
You can put your hands upon your head
You can put your hands upon your bended knee
Don’t you ever put your hands on me.”
If that sounds like a denouement, wait till you hear how Regina elongates “knee”, it seems to go on forever over there into the distance, a permission for everything except for one thing. Regina’s singing is so thrilling it takes awhile to notice bassist Mike Griot on drummer James “Whup” Coley, the True Groove rhythm section, they ride a terrific lick (Regina wrote the song along with two legends: Tomas Doncker and frequent Regina collaborator, Michael Hill) all the way through. At four minutes plus, the hard nose track has the length to move on out, including a guitar solo by Hill that sounds like a finger picked electric guitar on acid. The keyboards channel Ray Manzarek and for a similar reason to what Ray did for Morrison, the trebly sound only enhances Regina’s singing, and a buried out weakness-strength subtext that comes to fruition at the end. Regina has some Etta James in her delivery and the shouts of “no more” during the coda sure explains where the anger and the hurt belong.
This is from Bonelli’s bio: “Growing up in a musical family, Regina was playing the piano at age four, the guitar at twelve and writing her own songs by the time she reached fifteen. Regina began playing clubs and coffeehouses first as a solo artist and then eventually formed a funk rock band. She shared the stage with Odetta, Martha Reeves, the Temptations and Little Anthony and the Imperials, to name but a few. Her band was playing the Bottom Line in Greenwich Village when talent scouts from the nationally aired television show Star Search, presented the group an offer they couldn’t refuse. They flew Regina and her band out to Hollywood. There she won the competition three times, including International Star Search, performing her original material. Always a lover of blues and soul music, Regina was influenced at an early age by Big Momma Thornton, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Howlin’ Wolf and Ann Peebles. She began to write blues tunes inspired by her own life and the world around her. Regina started a family, had two children, and found her self raising them on her own. Her father, who was a guitarist, pianist and singer himself, had passed away when she was 15, right after buying her the Martin D28 she cherishes to this day.” She adds that a couple of unfortunate relationships complete the blues portrait. If blues is pain, Bonelli has known her fair share though she blasts it away in a knock down not for the faint hearted.
Feminists and others, get it here.