The Blue Door at 2805 N. McKinley Avenue is the site of the Oklahoma City premiere of the award-winning short documentary New Mexico Rain: The Story of Bill and Bonnie Hearne.
The film is the work of OKC-raised director and producer, Bunee Tomlinson. New Mexico Rain is a story of the love, tenacity, and talent of Bill and Bonnie Hearne.
Bill was legally blind from birth and Bonnie was totally blind, yet they were able to parlay their musical talent into a successful musical career and their love and tenacity into a marriage that stood the test of time. Their unique style of music made them essential acts in the venues around Austin and northern New Mexico. Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, Michael Martin Murphey, and others, give glimpses of Bill and Bonnie’s influence on them personally and on this style of music even today.
Bunee was born in Romania and lived in an orphanage until he was adopted by an Oklahoma City couple at six years of age. He has been producing film and video content in Oklahoma and beyond for over 10 years. His current film, New Mexico Rain, has shown in multiple film festivals and won the Judges Choice Award at Doc Sunback Film Festival and Best Documentary and Best Music Score at Sunny Side Up Film Festival. “It’s great to be back in Oklahoma City and I’m excited for New Mexico Rain’s premiere in my hometown,” says Tomlinson.
“We hope to see many in the community out for the screening and for what’s sure to be a fantastic concert by the great Bill Hearne.” Bill’s greatness lies in his interpretive skills. His husky Texas baritone finds its way into a song’s interior with the mellowness of fine bourbon and the warmth of a Sunday picnic.
And of course, there’s his pickin’, a style he calls ‘cross picking.’ He picked up the guitar when he was seven years old. According to Hearne, “Since I didn’t have people to play with, I developed a style that incorporated a percussion rhythm while playing lead riffs. Basically, I tried to be a one-man band.” Music great Lyle Lovett is featured in the film and is certainly impressed with Bill’s musical skill. According to Lovett, Bill and his late wife Bonnie Hearne “used to play a place called Corky’s in the Montrose area of Houston. I would get a seat right up next to the stage and sit in front of Bill and try to figure out all his guitar licks.”