TYRA SUTAKJULY 5, 2016
Sometimes in life, you come across people who seem to have it all figured out — the direction the path they wander leads and a good grasp on the role they were born to play in this great big world.
Bonnie Sims, powerhouse front-woman of Colorado-based americana band, Bonnie & the Clydes, is one of those people. Along with her award-winning guitarist husband Taylor, and the rest of the Clydes, Bonnie has been spreading a powerful blend of fresh, local country music through venues in the state of Colorado and beyond.
Though small in stature, Sims’ vocals and original lyrics are anything but tiny. With a big voice that radiates from stages of all shapes and sizes, Sims and her gang of talented musicians have garnered quite the following — from big city venues to small town gems — the arsenal of fans that pack in to see this dynamic five-piece band seems to grow every day.
Since 2010, Bonnie & the Clydes have been making and recording music, releasing three studio albums from 2010 to 2015 featuring a mix of foot-stomping country cover songs and a handful of originals penned by Bonnie and Taylor. The band’s 2014 album Music for the People: Part I is an ode to classic country music and full of two-step tempos you’d find drifting through old-timey dance halls. And while country roots run deep in Bonnie & the Clydes’ sound, the band’s latest album Dear Somebody shows off a softer and more thoughtful side of the group.
“Our genre has shifted from starting out as a classic country cover band and doing a lot of western swing stuff, to being more of an americana/country rock band and incorporating a lot of modern day stuff that we listen to into our songwriting,” says Sims. “We’re growing up. For me songwriting is really personal. I tell my own stories. Being more honest in our songwriting has allowed us to be more honest in our music.”
Bonnie & the Clydes’ fourth studio album, Dear Somebody.
While the eleven-song album composed of all original songs still showcases Sims’ classic country sass and incredible voice, the new tunes shine a light on important topics threaded into our society today.
“It’s about humans, and people in general,” Sims explains. “It’s about whatever you build, one day it’s going to come down. It’s about bigger truths in life and helping myself think about it all with music.”
Inspired by an experience encouraging kids to get along while teaching at a summer camp, Sims wrote the wistful tune, “I’m So Glad We Don’t Walk Alone.” With a catchy and nostalgic melody of gently strumming strings guiding the way, Sims’ haunting voice tells a beautiful story of the good still in this world. Bonnie Sims is credited for writing eight of the eleven songs on the album, and husband Taylor claims credit on the remaining three original songs, which are infused with a little more twang and fun lyrics that the greats like Willie Nelson would approve of. “I Get High,” Taylor Sims’ light-hearted song featuring long-time pedal steel guitar player, Glenn Taylor, will lodge itself in your head on repeat. And subtle love letters from and to both halves of the influential musical couple charmingly reverberate through the album.
If Bonnie & the Clyde’s new sound encompasses what it means to grow up, I’m on board. Catch the Front Range favorites this Sunday at the Copper Mountain Music Festival (July 8 through 10) and visit www.bonnieandherclydes.com to download the band’s latest album.