Igniting a music movement in Orange County is no easy feat, but according to frontman Daniel Bonte of Daniel Bonte and The Bona Fide, a movement is exactly what local country music needs. The Indiana-bred singer set to work finding a venue that would serve as a hub for Southern California country artists, and found a home in the stomping grounds of Cal State Fullerton. The singer snagged a Friday night slot at Big's Bar & Grill for his "California Country" series in hopes of exposing a country music scene.
Jen Fedrizzi Daniel Bonte
When Bonte approached various Orange County club owners with the idea of billing original country music, he was met with opposition. Venues were communicating heavy interest in cover songs, but little attention was given to new material. Bonte says that in some cases, venue operators wanted complete control of set lists. "I don't mind playing other people's music every once in awhile, as long as we do it our way," Bonte says. "But I'm not gonna have anybody tell me what I can and can't play. That's bullshit and I'm not gonna do it."