Benefits

Pop Quiz: Bonnie Raitt reveals the song that makes her shiver

on March 17, 2018 No comments

By Aidin Vaziri

Bonnie Raitt – Tipping Point Fire Relief Benefit – Fox Theater Oakland CA 2018-03-20

Bonnie Raitt, whose hits include “I Can’t Make You Love Me” and “Something to Talk About,” will spend most of this year away from her Marin County home, playing a mix of solo shows and stadium co-headliners with James Taylor. But the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer plans to make time for a couple of benefit concerts along the way, like the one she’s doing for the Tipping Point’s North Bay Fire Relief Fund at the Fox Theater in Oakland. The Chronicle caught her on the phone while the 68-year-old star was taking a breather in Los Angeles, where she had slipped out from tour rehearsals to sit on a bench overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Q: Were you home when the Wine Country fires happened?

A: I was there for the first four days and it was devastating. I have four friends who lost everything. With this benefit, I wanted to try to raise some funds for the more underserved communities in the North Bay that don’t have as much access to legal rights; or they’re immigrants afraid to file claims. I also want to be able to help the clinics that are dealing with the ongoing emotional trauma that people are going through. There’s a lot more support that’s going to be needed down the line.

Q: You did a stadium tour with James Taylor last year and now you’re doing it again. Did you enjoy playing in ballparks more than you expected?

A: Wrigley Field and Fenway were a real honor. Most of the shows we did last year were in sports arenas, so when we finally got outside it was like a big party. But if I even think about how many people are going to be out there, it freaks me out.

Q: It must feel good that so many people still turn out to see you.

A: Honestly, the fact that so many legacy artists are retiring or passing away, I think people know it may be an important chance to see people they have developed a longtime relationship with. I feel the same way they do. I want to get it while we’re at the top of our game. For people who love playing live as much as James and I do, that’s where the magic happens.

Q: You have been opening your set with a cover of INXS’ “Need You Tonight.” How does that go over?

A: Oh, my God. When I first started to do it, it made me shiver a little bit. It’s a pretty sexual song. When I started opening shows with it I was like, “Whoa, I’ve got to match this for the next two hours!”

Q: Has it been hard to avoid getting political onstage this year when you see so much of your work undone?

A: It’s a challenge every day to know what happened while we were asleep. You can’t even make up how absurd and painful this is. As far as I’m concerned, we have to get money out of politics — this isn’t a democracy. That’s about as far as I’ll go. A lot of people aren’t necessarily in agreement with my politics, so I don’t hit them over the head with it. I’m just really glad I have an electric guitar to turn up when I’m pissed off.

Bonnie Raitt and Her Band: 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 20. $55-$500. The Fox Theater, 1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. http://thefoxoakland.com


Source: © Copyright San Francisco Chronicle

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Little Kids Rock Honors Elvis Costello and Bonnie Raitt

Who Likens Cutting Music Education to a ‘Criminal Act’

on October 19, 2017 No comments

by

Little Kids Rock founder David Fish said it best: “The world is a f–ked up place right now,” he noted on stage at New York’s Playstation Theater last night. “But in these days of discord, dissonance and distraction, I’m constantly reminded by a truth that is as old as the human family itself: music can bring people together in ways that virtually nothing else can.”

Honoree Bonnie Raitt speaks onstage during the Little Kids Rock Benefit 2017 at PlayStation Theater on October 18, 2017 in New York City. © Kevin Mazur /Getty Images for Little Kids Rock

That is the thesis behind Little Kids Rock and its annual benefit, which aims to provide music education to public schools. This year’s benefit honored longtime supporter Bonnie Raitt, along with Elvis Costello, and the CEO of City Winery and founder of New York’s Knitting Factory, Michael Dorf.

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“Music Changed My Life”
Little Kids Rock Benefit 2017
Honoring Elvis Costello and Bonnie Raitt
PlayStation Theater, New York, NY
October 18, 2017

Featuring:
Elvis Costello – guitar, vocals
Bonnie Raitt – guitar, vocals
Keb’ Mo’ – guitar, vocals
Bettye LaVette – vocals
Darlene Love – vocals
Paul Shaffer – keyboards

House band:
Will Lee – bass, musical director
Chrissi Poland – vocals
Dennis Collins – vocals
Christine Ohlman – vocals
Chris Anderson – trumpet
Aaron Heick – saxophone
Neal Pawley – trombone
Jeff Kazee – keyboards
Bernie Williams – guitar
Jim Boggia – guitar
Doug Yowell – drums

Various Little Kids musicians appear on guitar, bass, vocals, drums

Non-musical appearances by:
Harry Connick Jr.
Michael McKean
Mike Meyers

 

 

Setlist:

01 Blackbird – Bettye LaVette
02 Michael McKean introduces Keb’ Mo’
03 We’re A Winner (Curtis Mayfield cover) – Keb’ Mo’
04 Keb’ Mo’ introduces Harry Connick Jr.
05 Harry Connick Jr. introduces Bonnie Raitt
06 Bonnie Raitt’s speech
07 Baby, I Love You (Aretha Frankline cover) – Bonnie Raitt and Keb’ Mo’
08 The Road Is My Middle Name – Bonnie Raitt with various Little Kids: “Yancy” on shared lead vocals, a chorus and a lead guitarist (Alejandro Villarasa)
09 Thing Called Love (John Hiatt cover) – Bonnie Raitt
10 Michael McKean introduces Mike Meyers
11 Mike Meyers introduces Elvis Costello
12 Elvis Costello’s speech
13 Alison – Elvis Costello
14 Elvis Costello comments
15 Forbidden Nights – Elvis Costello solo acoustic
16 Forbidden Nights – Darlene Love with full band
17 Elvis Costello introduces Bonnie Raitt
18 Bonnie Raitt comments
19 Love Has No Pride – Elvis Costello and Bonnie Raitt
20 Elvis Costello comments
21 (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding? (Nick Lowe cover) – Elvis Costello with various Little Kids on bass, drums, percussion, guitar and vocals
22 All You Need is Love (The Beatles cover) – All
23 People Get Ready (Curtis Mayfield cover) – House band

Length: 1:25:12

“Over the past 15 years, Little Kids Rock teachers have turned this into a national movement,” said Fish of the charity he initially conceptualized in 1996 when he was a teacher frustrated with the nonexistent funding for music programs at his school, leading him to launch an after-school program that taught students how to play guitar. “Since then, Little Kids Rock has been restoring, expanding and innovating music education around the country.”

For Dorf, who was honored for fostering a series of tribute shows that have raised $1.5 million dollars for music education, the cause is an important one. “With Mother Nature and Father Trump causing such havoc in our world, we are constantly putting on benefits to support the environment, health issues and protecting human rights,” said Dorf to Billboard. “What gets lost with all of these on-going topical issues and cut from budgets, are music programs — especially in public education for underserved youth.”

That’s especially true for kids like Amanda Medina, a 10-year-old student at the Equity Project Charter School in the Bronx, who also performed at the benefit as part of her after-school music group the Tep Combos. “Singing is my life, so I’m grateful for this because they’re giving money to buy kid’s instruments,” said Medina, who cited Beyonce as an influence. “I always look forward to rehearsing; tonight is our first performance that’s not in front of our school.”

Throughout the night, various luminaries attested to the importance of both music and its education. Harry Connick Jr., who introduced honoree Bonnie Raitt, said he started taking piano lessons when he was four, noting, “They say music changed my life, but for me that doesn’t go far enough. Music is my life.”

Bonnie Raitt attends the 2017 Little Kids Rock Benefit at PlayStation Theater on October 18, 2017 in New York City. © Taylor Hill /FilmMagic

Raitt expressed similar sentiments. “I came from a musical family and was blessed to grow up in an era when there was school orchestra with 16 percussion players,” she recalled, citing Joan Baez as an early influence. “The guitar allowed me to expressed myself. It was my voice and it helped me build (since) I had a confidence problem and a self esteemed problem. There’s been study after study proving the benefits of music education and exposure to the arts makes all the difference.”

Raitt, who likened the cutting back of music education a “criminal act,” praised the work of Little Kids Rock. “To see from where he started with his wonderful team and all those teachers and all of those kids whose lives have changed. It’s one of the most successful and well-run organizations, with every dollar going to the right place that I know.”

And before launching into a spirited cover of Aretha Franklin‘s 1967 track “Baby I Love You,” Raitt expanded on the theme of the evening: “Here’s to the power of a beautiful ballad to break hearts and heal.”

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Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Jason Mraz and Joel Rafael Donate over $85k to Standing Rock

on December 14, 2016 No comments

Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Jason Mraz, Joel Rafael and John Trudell’s Bad Dog donated over $85k to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe this week from proceeds and donations from their November 27 benefit concert at the Prairie Knights Pavilion in Fort Yates, ND, seven miles from Oceti Sakowin Camp.

Bonnie Raitt, Nick of Time song by Bonnie Raitt (Standing Rock Reservation, 27 November 2016)

Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Brown Thing Called Love song by John Hiatt (Standing Rock, 27 November 2016)

Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Joel Rafael, Jason Mraz I Am a Patriot (Standing Rock, 27 Nov 2016)

Jackson Browne, rap and Take it Easy with Bonnie Raitt (Standing Rock, 27 November 2016)

Bonnie Raitt with Val McCullum Well Well Well song by Dylan O Keefe (Standing Rock, 27 Nov 2016)

Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne Angel From Montgomery song by John Prine (Standing Rock, 27 Nov 2016)

Joel Rafael, Jackson Browne, Bad Dog, et alii Rockin the Rez (Standing Rock, 27 November 2016)

Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt World in Motion (Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, 27 November 2016)

The benefit concert sold over 1,500 tickets to the general public and provided 800 free tickets to the Standing Rock community and water protectors. In addition to the money raised for the Tribe, Browne, Raitt and Rafael spent the day before the show at the Oceti Sakowin camp, donating over 500 blankets to those staying for the winter.

Bonnie Raitt with Faith Spotted Eagle and family at the Oceti Sakowin camp. Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Jason Mraz and donated $85k to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

“What an incredible honor it was to get to experience the powerful coming together of so many thousands united in spirit and commitment to nonviolence, to protect the water and sacred sites,” said Raitt in a press release.

“Arriving at the Oceti Sakowin Camp, with tipis, yurts and campers stretched as far as the eye could see, remains one of my life’s most memorable experiences. Meeting with the tribal elders, taking part in sacred ceremonies, witnessing the incredible work and coordination to provide food, sanitation, security, schooling, medical care and spiritual sustenance to those thousands who have been in the camps and on the line since the summer was incredible. I was filled with such great respect and admiration,” Raitt said.

Chairman Dave Archambault II’s family join Jackson and Bonnie at Oceti Sakowin camp: Betty Archambault, Joel Rafael, Dave Archambault, Sr., Bonnie Raitt, Donna Archambault Rogers and Jackson Browne. © Jackson Browne

“We hope the decision to halt construction will prevail in the New Year, but I know the people taking a stand there will continue their fight. We are committed to moving away from our dependence on fossil fuels and into a safer, more job-intensive green energy future. In the meantime, the resilience, strength and courage of all those at Standing Rock will continue to inspire my commitment to nonviolence and the power of people coming together to impact social change,” she said.

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