Slide guitarist Bonnie Raitt will be in Calgary to play the Jubilee Auditorium Wednesday. She’ll be touring her new album Souls Alike.
When you’ve achieved and seen as much as she has, people call you Ms.
Ms. Bonnie, that is.
Speaking from somewhere, “north of San Francisco,” Bonnie Raitt sounds eager and enthusiastic as she talks about her music, her life and the legends who taught her about the blues, racism and whisky.
It’s refreshing to hear from a woman who is touring her 18th album, Souls Alike, and who has been playing music since she got her first guitar when she was eight, in 1957.
“It’s what I do for a job, and I’m not ready to retire yet,” says Raitt, who is playing the Jubilee Wednesday.
“I’m just in the most rewarding part of my life.”
And that’s saying a lot.
When Raitt was 14, she heard the album Blues at Newport 1963.
“That one record changed my life,” says Raitt.
It was the late ’60s when Raitt moved from L.A. to attend Harvard, where she majored in social relations and African studies.
Between classes she’d play her blues and slide guitar at “coffee house gigs.”
She was influenced heavily by such artists as Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, who were making heads turn with their protest songs.
“I wanted to change the world with this protest music, folk music.”
That love of folk and blues landed her in a circle of friends who travelled to blues festivals.
“I met people like Buddy Guy, Skipp James,” says Raitt.
“These are the guys I called legends, and here I was on tour with them … and I never really considered myself anything more than an opening act.”
But by then, Ms. Bonnie was one of them.
She toured with the likes of John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters and learned a valuable lesson for a blues player: “How to drink.”
She also learned where these artists found their inspiration.
“For these men and women, being black in America, in the south … was really, really hard,” says Raitt. “It was crazy for me to learn all about the racism in the south, being a girl from L.A. hanging out with all these people from Mississippi and Alabama.”
And it didn’t hurt her abilities as a musician either.
“Just getting to listen to them and to soak it all up was just spectacular.”
Raitt says it was her abilities as a guitar player that won her the confidence of these blues men.
“Because I could play surprisingly well, I didn’t have it too bad,” she says.
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Congratulations to Blues Hall of Famer Bonnie Raitt who was honored at last night's GRAMMYs with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
“To be validated by my peers… it’s a very big celebration and I’m very grateful.” On being an inspiration and influence to other musicians, like Sheryl Crow who was inspired to play guitar after hearing Raitt play for the first time, she says “it’s hard for me to imagine because I still feel like I’m just starting out. It’s been 50 years, but you know people have been really kind. So many more women are playing lead guitar - Prince’s band, Beyonce’s band, all the late-night bands who have women musicians. It’s fantastic.” ... See MoreSee Less
Bonnie will be a presenter at THE 64TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS® this Sunday, April 3rd! Catch the broadcast live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on the CBS Television Network or stream live and on demand on Paramount+. Tune in to Music's Biggest Night®! ... See MoreSee Less
New and exclusive Bonnie Raitt merch is now available for Fan Community members at bonnieraitt.com/members! You can access this shirt, along with other totes and sizes by logging into the member portal and heading to “Exclusive Merch.” The Fan Community is free and open for all to join. Check out the brand new, exclusive merchandise today! - BRHQ ... See MoreSee Less
We celebrate Women of the Blues every day! Season 1 of our Blues Foundation podcast features Blues Hall of Fame trailblazers Ma Rainey (ep. 22), Bessie Smith (ep. 24), Memphis Minnie (ep. 08), Alberta Hunter (ep. 02), and Dinah Washington (ep. 26).
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