top of page

Anthony Bonnette’s “Lion Tamer” — The song “is a commentary on rough hardened manly men and sweet, feminine girls and the magical thing that happens when you put them together.”

April 1, 2024

Anthony Bonnette
Photo: Malorie Roland

From the piney woods of East Texas, near Lake O’ The Pines. Raised in the local church, where your father Tony led worship and your mother Tanya played the piano. You played alongside her, singing during services. Which artists did your parents play in your home growing up?

My parents played BJ Thomas (the gospel albums), Carman, Amy Grant (the gospel albums), and Andrae Crouch. The Carpenters’ records were also played a lot in our house, Karen Carpenter is my all-time favorite singer.

After high school, you got a guitar and started writing songs. Recorded your first two singles, “Every Time It Rains” and “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now,” with a music producer you met in Dallas, Texas. When you returned to Texas from Music City, the music business was slow going. You started your own business in alarms, surveillance, and smart homes. How do you see the construction industry evolving over the next few years?

There’s a lot of different aspects to the construction industry, and so it’s hard to predict the future. It’s a fun market if you’re flexible and able because there is always something for you to do no matter how the overall market evolves. With the continuous advancement of technology, it leaves a lot of room for business growth.

Best known for “Funny Man,” published by Bluewater Music, produced by Merle Haggard and Toby Keith, and covered by Rodney Carrington for Capitol Records Nashville in 2009. What’s the backstory to this song?

Having had some dealings with a national touring comedian. I was struck by the dichotomy of their existence, a serious businessman’s day-to-day contrasted with a lighthearted on-stage persona, and the longing for the balance between the two that is so easily lost.

Started a YouTube Channel with your wife Holly during the COVID shutdown in 2020. You continue to cover favorite songs, interview fellow artists on your Come and Pick It show, and share music travel experiences. Where are your top five bucket list places you hope your music takes you to in the next five years?

Fun question! These are by no means in any order.

3) The Official NFR Experience in Vegas seems like a country music Super Bowl

Rank as a worldwide top Americana singer/songwriter. Which Americana artists have most influenced your music?

Single Cover - Hey There Pretty Girl by Anthony Bonnette
Graphics: Brad Harris Graphics

First single released this year was “Hey There Pretty Girl.” Favorite lyric in the song and why?

“Hey There Pretty Girl would you like to take a whirl around this ol dance floor.” It’s easy as a writer to try to overload a song with ideas, with wordy poetic exposition. It’s funny that the lines that actually end up being deep and meaningful are the simplest ones.

Latest single, “Lion Tamer,” is self-penned. The song “is a commentary on rough hardened manly men and sweet, feminine girls and the magical thing that happens when you put them together. Strange how the soft can dominate, how the sweet can overpower the tough.” A quote from Robert Duvall’s character, Hub, in Secondhand Lions was inspirational for the writing of this song. “I’ve won and lost a dozen fortunes, killed many men, and loved only one woman with a passion a flea like you could never begin to understand. That’s a great line! And I’ve not done any of that except loved one woman my whole life.” Do you find it more challenging to write lyrics from very personal experiences or as an outsider, like this song?

I would say that we all are insiders when it comes to the ways of love. We all, whether we can put it into words or not, know the masculine and the feminine. We know the difference between Johnny and June, between Lancelot and Guinevere, Desi and Lucy. We love the spark that happens when these opposites attract, we can’t get enough of it. It’s the pearl of great price in this old world.

When I was a younger man I wrote songs, and they were pretty good songs, about love, but I always found they lacked something, an intimacy if you will. I took an almost 10-year hiatus from writing songs, and when they came back to me, they had the heart-touch, the sweetness, that I’d always wished I could write. I’m definitely older, possibly wiser, and hopefully better at loving than I was then, and I think that has translated into my songs.

So, while this song is not exactly autobiographical, I can say that I know them really well. They are you and they are me, boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen.

live music - band on stage looking out onto dance floor

What’s ahead?

We’re super excited for what the future holds, I’m writing a lot, and looking forward to the songs tomorrow will bring. The success of these last two singles has really been fun, and I’m hoping for more of the same in 2024 (3 more singles to be released this year) and beyond.


bottom of page