Bonny Getz is a lot like Link, the mini protagonist of the Legend of Zelda videogame, who toils to obtain the Moon Pearl for protection in the Dark World. Similarly, the 5-foot-1 Capitola singer/songwriter sings “I need some bright moon pearls/so I can wear my worth,” in the title track off her debut album, Bright Moon Pearls, due for release Sept. 2. Getz, 44, doesn’t have a sword to battle tough times, instead she has her mesmerizing vocals and deliberate country/pop tunes.
Getz’s victories are depicted on her album cover, where she stands cradling a handful of moon pearls. According to Getz, “The thing that comes across in my songs the most, is the ability to rise above adversity. [It’s] what I admire most about the human condition.” On the title track, a distressed cowgirl takes comfort in the light of the moon. “I wrote that song for my childhood friend who has always struggled with addictions. I wrote [it] as a prayer for her,” Getz explains. The rest of the album is characterized by the same intensity and passion, which stems from her imagination and real-life catastrophe. In 2004, after Getz moved from Colorado to Los Gatos to enroll her son, who has cerebral palsy, in a school for children with motor disabilities, “my husband got a brain tumor, we went on welfare, [and] I was depressed,” says Getz. “I kept hearing melodies in the middle of the night [and] sang them in my tape recorder and listened to them later. I began writing songs—it saved me.” That perseverance prompted Getz to perform at Britannia Arms last year, where she caught the attention of Ken Kraft of the White Album Ensemble—the producer of Bright Moon Pearls—who refers to her music as “a cross between Joseph Campbell and old-time country,” says Getz. “It’s important for me to be intimate with the audience [and] write songs that the listener can relate to,” she says. “If [a] song brings smiles or tears, I’m glad it can do some healing in the world.”
INFO: 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. $10. 603-2294.
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