Sitting on the porch of her 100 year old house situated in the heart of the city, Regina Bonelli contemplates the years that have led her to this point in her musical career. Amidst the big, old trees of the concrete jungle, in her hometown of 8 million people, Regina has lived hard but loves life. This musician with the soulful blues vocals and dynamic, original songs is in fine form as her debut release “Open Up the Door” has been recently released and is making an impact on radio and the charts.
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. The show producers 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.
Regina started a family, had two children, and she found herself raising them on her own. When she was 15 her father, who was a guitarist, pianist and singer himself, had passed away right after buying her the Martin D28 guitar she cherishes to this day. Her mother passed on right before the birth of her second daughter. After these life-changing events, Regina had to bring up her daughters as a single parent with little support. Navigating through life and love was all the inspiration she needed to write an album of all original blues music coming straight from her heart.
Performing on Regina’s record are international touring and recording artists Michael Hill (guitar), William McClellan Jr. (drums), Pete Cummings (bass), Mike Griot (bass), Kevin Hill (bass and horn arrangements) and David Barnes (harmonica). Regina not only lays down her rich vocals but she more than delivers on the piano and organ as well. Michael Hill produced the album, with two cuts produced by Mike Griot and one by Kevin Hill. Regina is executive producer. Recorded in a brownstone studio in Brooklyn, her self-penned songs are already garnering worldwide attention and radio play.
After a phenomenal performance in September 2014 at New Jersey’s largest blues festival, the South Mountain Blues Festival, Regina and her band have been hitting performance venues with their dynamic and soulful sound. True to her feelings, with powerhouse vocals and keyboard solos, Regina Bonelli leaves it all on the stage and brings audiences a live experience they won’t soon forget.