Bonnie's Pride and Joy

Fansite with ALL the news about Bonnie !

Bonnie Raitt, a Balladeer for the 90’s

on August 5, 1994 No comments

By JON PARELES

1994 © John Casado

Bonnie Raitt started out in the 1970’s as a blues singer. Two decades later, her songs still hold on to the forthrightness and the pained determination of the blues. But at Radio City Music Hall on Wednesday night, when she opened a two-night stand, the most telling moments came during her ballads.

Ms. Raitt is one of the least showy singers in rock; she makes the song seem to tell its story by itself. Her voice has a girlish sweetness deepened by a grainy sense of experience; it can cut through a full band in a rock song, but it can also make ballads float in their own world.

She sets forth melodies clearly and plainly, adding a slide, a blues turn or a hint of vibrato only when a word needs illumination. Within such artful simplicity, every detail becomes vivid. And in songs like Richard Thompson’s “Dimming of the Day” or her own “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” all it took was a crescendo or a quiver of vibrato to fill a song with aching honesty. John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery” was a marvel, mixing hymnlike purity with conversational directness.

In a way, Ms. Raitt has returned to her heritage. She is a second-generation performer, the daughter of John Raitt, who played Broadway leads in “Oklahoma!” and “Carousel.” And she grew up in Los Angeles, where in the 1970’s, a school of songwriters and performers perfected a style that gave down-home Americana — country and blues, along with Brill Building pop — a Hollywood sheen. When Ms. Raitt and her producer, Don Was, picked up the lessons of Peter Asher’s mid-1970’s productions of Linda Ronstadt for her 1989 album, “Nick of Time,” Ms. Raitt became a million-seller.

Mass success, after years of a steady cult following, seems to have given Ms. Raitt new confidence as a songwriter. Through the years she has usually recorded a song or two of her own per album, and by now she has amassed a sizable catalogue. Her songs have had a consistent persona: that of a woman who’s both loving and self-reliant, both sensual and, almost despite herself, sensible. One of her new songs, “Feeling of Falling,” confesses to missing wilder times but refusing to go “over the ledge.” In songs like “Nick of Time” and “Circle Dance,” she acts her age (44), examining questions of mortality and forgiveness across generations.

Ms. Raitt still seems surprised by the size of her audience. At Radio City, she started by urging the audience to “pretend we’re at a club tonight,” and throughout the show she spoke to the audience casually, taking pains to credit other songwriters and her band members. She singled out James (Hutch) Hutchinson, on bass, for bringing African and Celtic music into her songs.

For most of her summer tour, Ms. Raitt is performing at large outdoor halls (including the Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, L.I., on Aug. 18 and 19), and she had a stage backdrop and lighting effects that were occasionally distracting. But she’s reluctant to play the rock star; only in an encore, John Hiatt’s “Thing Called Love,” did she carry her guitar to the edge of the stage and strut through a solo.

She also had a show-business finale: a guest appearance by her father. The 77-year-old Mr. Raitt, his voice still hearty and accurate, joined his daughter for a duet in “They Say It’s Wonderful,” from “Annie Get Your Gun,” and took over for “Oklahoma!” Ms. Raitt’s own style, reserved and confessional, is a generation away from her father’s gusto, but her filial pride was obvious.


Source: © Copyright The New York Times

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Related Posts

Take a look at these posts
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Bonnie's Pride and Joy on Facebook

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

Farm Aid 2021 – September 25 in Hartford, Connecticut ... See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago
Video image

Comment on Facebook

LARGEST TREE IN THE WORLD

Location : Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park in Tulare County, California, USA.
The General Sherman Tree is the world's largest tree, measured by volume. It stands 275 feet (83 m) tall, and is over 36 feet (11 m) in diameter at the base. Sequoia trunks remain wide high up. Sixty feet above the base, the Sherman Tree is 17.5 feet (5.3 m) in diameter.

It is estimated to be around 2,300 to 2,700 years old.
... See MoreSee Less

3 weeks ago

Timeline PhotosStanding watch over the Sierra forests for thousands of years, the giant sequoias are yet another awe-inspiring sight to behold in Yosemite Mariposa County! 📷 by @colbyoutdoors

📰 | ow.ly/HgB650FdU6V (how to visit Yosemite the summer)

#YosemiteNation Visit Gold Country Visit California California High Sierra
... See MoreSee Less

1 month ago

Timeline PhotosRed Lake Treaty Camp is calling for urgent help. They woke up to movement as their digging getting closer to the river.

“We need people to Red Lake Camp. The equipment they moved yesterday is now moving and working on the side near the river. We need water protectors to come stand in solidarity with us to protect the water and our treaties.”

Riverside Cemetary thief river falls is best GPS coordinates to follow on maps.

11750 MN-32, Thief River Falls, MN 56701, USA
maps.google.com/maps?q=48.04091764200594%2C-96.20955593883991
... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago

2021 Blues Foundation Hart Fund Benefit ... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago
Video image

Comment on Facebook

What Makes This Singer Great? Bonnie Raitt ... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago
Video image

Comment on Facebook

Load more

Recommended Reading

Falling in love with Bonnie Raitt for the first time

Falling in love with Bonnie Raitt for the first time

November 10, 1971

Chris Stapleton, Bonnie Raitt Helm B.B. King Grammy Tribute

February 16, 2016

Jerry Garcia Band with Bonnie Raitt, Berkeley Greek 8.30.1987

September 1, 1987

CMT Crossroads Bonnie Raitt and Lyle Lovett – The Factory – Franklin – TN

December 15, 2005

Norton Buffalo Dies

November 1, 2009

Bonnie Raitt’s Blues

November 9, 2015
Will McFarlane

Talking with Guitarist Songwriter Will McFarlane

November 2, 2009

Stephen Bruton one of Austin’s best guitar players passes away

May 9, 2009

Bonnie Raitt attends the 25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert at MSG – NY

October 30, 2009

Review: James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt deliver summer night delight at DTE

August 9, 2017