Georgie Bonds
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Bio

"All I've wanted to be in my life is a cowboy and a singer." - Georgie Bonds

The average person would be content with fulfilling just one dream, but not Georgie Bonds. He has managed two. Having once been a prominent figure in Philadelphia's storied Black Cowboys organization, hard work and a twist of fate has brought Georgie to the heart of the blues scene nationally and internationally.

Born and raised in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Georgie Bonds did not grow up listening to the blues or riding horses. While R&B records fed his musical inspiration since childhood, watching people ride in the park near his home sparked an interest in horses, and led him to buy his first horse at the age of twenty-one. This equine fascination led him to a livelihood in blacksmithing, a skill he trained for in Martinsville, Virginia. For fifteen years, he shod horses and continued to sing, while strumming on a guitar, making up songs for his own entertainment.

 

Young Georgie

Georgie got his first taste of delta blues when a friend loaned him a Robert Johnson tape. There was something about the music that grabbed a hold of him and wouldn't let go. At that point he knew that the blues was what he needed. One night in the early 1990's, he stepped onto the stage of an open mic blues jam at "The Barbery," took a deep breath, and belted out "Stormy Monday," the only blues song he knew. Fortunately, blues legend Sonny Rhodes, who was hosting that night, took a liking to Georgie and became his mentor. Sonny introduced Georgie to more musicians, and taught him how to be a performer, not just a singer. Georgie's blues career was then well on it's way.

Young Georgie

Then, in 1994, having put together a successful band, with gigs starting to pick up, everything came to a sudden halt as Georgie fell victim to a nearly fatal medication error, that practically incinerated him from within. The tragedy, with its long and painful recovery, could have destroyed his spirit, but remarkably, Georgie found grace through this trial. The test of that hardship has given deeper meaning to his musical career and his life, along with a renewed determination to succeed.

Burnt Georgie

At Warmdaddy's, the preeminent blues club in Philadelphia, Georgie hosted the monthly, open mic blues jam, offering aspiring blues musicians the same support he received from Sonny Rhodes. As the house band, Georgie Bonds shared the stage and played with Hubert Sumlin, Koko Taylor, Bernard Allison, Melvin Taylor, Kenny Neal, Mark Hummel, Slam Allen, Larry Garner, Bill Perry, Michael Hill's Blues Mob, Jimmy Vaughn, Carl Weathersby, Bill Branch and The Kinsey Report and the list goes on. He has played in Europe and been invited for a return engagements.

Georgie Warmdaddy's

The unusual and unlikely story of Georgie Bonds' life has led to some wonderful music. In 2001, Georgie independently released his debut CD, "Sometimes I Wonder" to significant critical acclaim. It took a while to overcome some health issues and a few other challenges that life threw at him, but Georgie was persistent and in 2013 Georgie released his second CD, "Stepping Into Time." Additionally, he was chosen for an acting/singing role in the broadway hit, It Ain't Nothin' But The Blues, which was nominated for four Tony Awards and Best Musical and praised by the New York Times. Georgie has established himself as a world class singer/songwriter and blues entertainer and the best is yet to come. It seems as though the Blacksmith is blessed with the gift of making his dreams come true and his fans will reap the benefits of those beautiful dreams.

Georgie Portrait
To read more about Georgie, click here to read his story in the City Paper  
Georgie Bonds