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on May 12, 1975 No comments
State News Reviewer

Bonnie Raitt with Mose Allison and Sippie WallaceMay 10, 1975
Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

Blues artist Bonnie Raitt disdainfully rejected the mantle of popular glitter rock and roll Saturday night at the Men’s Intramural Building.

“I’d like to do a song by John Prine, “Angel From Montgomery,” she said. “I would have done something by Elton or Mick, but the set is too short, and so are they.”

Raitt and her four-man band cooked their blues songs down to the essentials, without being simplistic. Her guitar passages powerfully highlighted her gutsy, yet refined vocals.

Aware of the rhythm and blues heritage that had influenced her, when she sang “To believe in this livin’ is just a hard way to go,” her plaintive voice begged whatever powers that be to “Make me an angel that flies from Montgomery.”

Whether awing the audience with her supple, primal voice, or treating them to lean, cliche-free, sparkling guitar riffs, Raitt proved herself the same versatile performer live in concert that she is on her record albums.

Her soulful, grinding rendition of “Love Me Like a Man” proved Raitt’s exceptional talent for being earthy yet cultivated. Her vocal and instrumental lines, pared down to the raw essentials’ were wrapped around her bassist Freebo’s phrases and artfully intertwined with her band’s sexually pulsating sounds.

She presented a balanced program, performing songs by Ray Charles, Jackson Browne and some tunes that she had written. All of her music clearly showed the blues heritage that she has inherited and molded into her own style.

Mississippi Wallace’s “You Can Make Me Do Anything You Want,” with the bandsmen singing the backup vocals in falsettos, provided a humorous, interesting change of pace for Raitt’s portion of the concert.

She was totally involved in her music. Her songs were a labor a love, about the labor of love. However, unlike the girl in her song, she has not been in love too long. Her music endures.

She is also involved in causes. Raitt urged the departing audience, who had demanded and received a three-song encore at 2 a.m., to contribute to the Wounded Knee defense fund.

Bonnie Raitt with Mose Allison and Sippie Wallace – MSU Men’s Intramural Building, East Lansing, Michigan – May 10, 1975

Source: © Copyright State News
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We are rocked to the core to hear of the passing of our dear friend, bandmate and musical genius, Mike Finnigan. He fought his long illness with the same fearlessness and ferocity he brought to every part of his life. Our deepest condolences go out to Candy, Kelly, Bridget and all his family.

Mike was one of the most powerful, virtuosic soul/gospel/blues singers and Hammond B3 players you’ll ever be blessed to hear. Respected and emulated by musicians the world over, his legacy of staggering
performances across his 60+ years career will stand the test of time. He stopped our show nearly every night. There was simply no one like him.

He was whipsmart, incredibly articulate and funny as hell. He was as devoted to his beloved family and friends as he was to helping so many struggling to get and stay sober. He and his wife Candy were instrumental in my own sobriety and I will be forever grateful.

Rest in peace, dear Mike. I know you’ll be shaking that Heavenly Choir to new heights as only you can do.

Here’s a clip from our 2013 Slipstream tour, where he tore up the place every night with Ray Charles’ iconic “I’ve Got News for You.”
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2 months ago
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