Bonnie Raitt’s birthday falls on Election Day, so it was no surprise that last night at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Raitt continued her hallmark activism with several progressive political statements.
“Make me happy on my birthday!” she shouted, and announced that nonpartisan HeadCount was on-site to register voters.
Raitt was in appreciative spirits and good humor, super connected to her fans. “Thanks for giving up football for us,” she said, a nod to the Denver Broncos’ rematch of Super Bowl 50 that was happening miles away during the show.
Raitt’s emotional range was as wide as her vocal range. She joked about her hair, applying lipstick for love songs and phlegm. Yet she was dead serious about fracking, the presidential campaign and heartbreak.
Now into the fifth decade of her career, Raitt is arguably the most successful woman in the music business. Since 1971, she’s sold more than 16 million records and garnered 10 Grammys. Rolling Stone included her on its lists of both best singers and best guitarists of all time (number 50 and 89, respectively).
At Red Rocks, Raitt the Great demonstrated why. The woman could make a crowd cry just by singing the ABCs. Her scalding vocals were especially bewitching on stripped-down torch songs “Angel From Montgomery,” “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” and “Dimming of the Day” — performed as a duet with opener Richard Thompson, who penned the song. And her slide guitar, as Bonnie herself once put it, sounded like bacon smells. That is, good, but with a little guilt.
Bonnie Raitt – Sweet and Shiny Eyes – Red Rocks – 9/8/2016
Raitt’s career has traded more on covers than original songs. The set list included tunes by INXS, Los Lobos, John Hiatt and John Prine. But Raitt’s most recent record “Dig in Deep,” features songs she wrote. The band rocked “The Comin’ Round Is Going Through,” a guitar-thrashing protest song. “Money has hijacked democracy,” Raitt said, “and I wrote this song to get it off my chest.”
Set list: Bonnie Raitt, 09/08/16, Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Need You Tonight
Used To Rule the World
Shakin, Shakin, Shakes
Not the Only One
Dimming of the Day
Round and Round
I Feel the Same
Hear Me Lord
Something To Talk About
The Comin’ Round Is Going Through
Angel From Montgomery
Don’t Answer the Door
Gypsy In Me
Good Man, Good Woman / I Believe I’m In Love With You
What You’re Doin’ To Me
I Can’t Make You Love Me
Encore: Nick of Time
Encore: You Got It / Sneakin Up On You/ Burning Down the House (mashup)
Jazz and blues fests are everywhere now, and Americana is going strong on college radio. What I'm hearing is an appreciation of real music.
I speak my mind and come from a place of conscience, as well as have fun as a musician.
I don't know if I'm a heroine; I'm just somebody that can cheer the troops by singing to folks, and have receptions after the show, and tithe a dollar of every ticket sale for all kinds of different great charities and social action groups.
Quakers are known for wanting to give back. Ban the bomb and the civil rights movement and the native American struggle for justice - those things were very, very front-burner in my childhood, as were the ideas of working for peace and if you have more than you need, then you share it with people who don't.
The consolidation of the music business has made it difficult to encourage styles like the blues, all of which deserve to be celebrated as part of our most treasured national resources.
I think my fans will follow me into our combined old age. Real musicians and real fans stay together for a long, long time.
I grew up in Los Angeles in a Quaker family, and for me being Quaker was a political calling rather than a religious one.
I just play the music that I love with musicians that I respect, and fortunately, I'm in a position where people are willing to play with me, and perhaps I can do something to help them.
I never saw music in terms of men and women or black and white. There was just cool and uncool.
Solar power is the last energy resource that isn't owned yet - nobody taxes the sun yet.
Religion is for those who are scared of hell, and spirituality is for those who have been there.
Life gets mighty precious when there's less of it to waste.
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Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine, Vol. 2, the anticipated new John Prine tribute record from Oh Boy Records, is out today. Stream/purchase HERE.
Created as a celebration of Prine’s life and career, the album features new renditions of some of Prine’s most beloved songs performed by Brandi Carlile (“I Remember Everything”), Tyler Childers (“Yes I Guess They Oughta Name A Drink After You”), Iris DeMent (“One Red Rose”), Emmylou Harris (“Hello In There”), Jason Isbell (“Souvenirs”), Valerie June (“Summer’s End”), Margo Price (“Sweet Revenge”), Bonnie Raitt (“Angel From Montgomery”), Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats (“Pretty Good”), Amanda Shires (“Saddle in the Rain”), Sturgill Simpson(“Paradise”) and John Paul White (“Sam Stone”). Proceeds from the album will benefit twelve different non-profit organizations, one selected by each of the featured artists.
Bonnie Raitt - Write Me a Few of Your Lines/Kokomo Blues
60 years anniversary celebration of Arhoolie
December 10, 2020
Arhoolie Foundation celebrates it's 60th anniversary (1960-2020) with an online broadcast.
Bonnie Raitt - Shadow of Doubt
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival
October 3, 2020
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass celebrates it's 20th anniversary with an online broadcast titled “Let The Music Play On”.
Bonnie Raitt & Boz Scaggs - You Don't Know Like I Know
Farm Aid 2020 On the Road
Sam & Dave classic written by Isaac Hayes and David Porter.
Sheryl Crow & Bonnie Raitt - Everything Is Broken
[Eric Clapton’s Crossroads 2019]
Eric Clapton, one of the world’s pre-eminent blues/rock guitarists, once again summoned an all-star team of six-string heroes for his fifth Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2019. Held at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, the two-day concert event raised funds for the Crossroads Centre in Antigua, the chemical dependency treatment and education facility that Clapton founded in 1998.
'A Tribute To Mose Allison'
Celebrates The Music Of An Exciting Jazz Master
Raitt contributed to a new album, If You're Going To The City: A Tribute To Mose Allison, which celebrates the late singer and pianist, who famously blended the rough-edged blues of the Mississippi Delta with the 1950s jazz of New York City.
NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks to Bonnie Raitt about her friendship with the Mose Allison. They're also joined by Amy Allison — his daughter, who executive produced the album — about selecting an unexpected list of artists to contribute songs to the album.
Recorded on tour June 3, 2017 - Centennial Hall, London - Ontario Canada