GOOSE CREEK SYMPHONY / BONNIE RAITT
While the number of young electric bands building their style from country music continues to grow, Goose Creek Symphony has succeeded in developing a somewhat distinct synthesis of rock’n’roll and traditional country music.
Having largely bypassed contemporary country and the influence of the blues, this group has established a style which is often exciting, generally amusing, and nearly always entertaining.
Unfortunately, the personality of both the act and the music threatens to become somewhat cloying, relying as it does on the image of the Stoned ‘Hillbilly.’ Despite this caricature, the band won the Gaslight audience with interesting, if unexceptional, originals, and their enthusiasm underscored every tune.
Bonnie Raitt, who provided the opening set, has been described as one of the finest young interpreters of the blues, and her Gaslight performance gave ample evidence of the accuracy of such a description.
Miss Raitt’s absorption of blues styles has been so beautifully balanced, and the resulting style is so natural, that she has transcended the rigidity of most white blues players.
More to the point, however, she has chosen to adapt the feeling and techniques of the blues to modern material, and her presentations of songs by Randy Newman, Eric Kaz, Stephen Stills, and other young songwriters were remarkable in their lack of pretension.
Her voice projects the loneliness and sensuality that have always been characterized as blues elements, yet these qualities become fresh and very accessible in her performances.
As an acoustic guitarist, Miss Raitt—a Warner Bros. talent— supports her vocals with superbly balanced, restrained lines.