Bonnie's Pride and Joy

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Bonnie Raitt
You can do almost anything, just don’ say nothing bad about Bonnie Raitt.

on August 14, 2009 No comments
by Frank Matheis

Most people who have enjoyed Bonnie Raitt’s music since 1989 would call her predominately a bluesy pop-rock star and a great slide guitarist. Those of us who were her fans in 1971 thought of her mostly as an eclectic folk-blues artist. Actually, both are true: she’s a popular rockstar who sells out huge concert halls and regularly does an acoustic set during her concerts. Unsuspecting rock fans are then treated to the best imaginable country blues without knowing it’s coming.

Let any naysayers point to her and claim that she’s not a blues performer, and let them listen to Bonnie’s renditions of “Walking Blues”, “Love Me Like a Man”. “Give it Up or Let Me Go”, “Big Road” and many more, and  they will soon fold. Bonnie is a blues woman if ever there was one. Mississippi Fred McDowell, Sippie Wallace and a long list of other would second that!

In her own right, she has maintained true to her roots as a New York coffeehouse blues performer, although she found her fame and fortune in the more popular brands of music. More power to her. The daughter of Broadway start John Raitt, Bonnie has his musical genes, but she took a different track than her famous dad. Imagine making your debut album and getting Junior Wells to play harp for you (on the album “Bonnie Raitt 1971).

Much can be said about Bonnie, foremost that she is a phenomenal slide guitarist and fingerpicker, with a voice as pretty as the morning dew on a buttercup. She was a breakthrough performer and renowned for her bottleneck slide playing even way back in the 1970s, when there were virtually no women engaged in the fine art of sliding (Rosetta Tharpe made her name a few decades earlier). What a sight she was for the old bluesmen, petite with her big magnificent flaming red hair and that wicked slide. Oooeeee!

This year, 2009, she’s 60 years old and she’s still all that! And, then some! An enthralling, hot and steamy blues player she is at the top of her game and seemingly getting better by the day. When she lets those trademark, long, slow notes bend as she slide that big glass bar across the fretboard she’s sweeter than wine (and still fine, fine, fine).

Recommended starter:
Her self-titled debut album from 1971 on Warner Brothers still carries the closest ties to the traditional blues.

I’ve been going through life deep in love with Bonnie Raitt. When I met my wife in 1975, I told her “Yes, I love you, but before we go further in our relationship I have to tell you about this other woman that I love…her name in Bonnie Raitt- I never met her, but…”

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Source: © Copyright The Country Blues

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Timeline photosBetter times. Just devastated by the loss of one of my heroes. RIP John. This photo with Bonnie from the Troubadours of Folk festival at UCLA, 5 June 1993. ... See MoreSee Less

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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.”
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2 months ago
Eric Brand

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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

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 Musics Biggest Night®!
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Eric Brand

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2 months ago
Eric Brand

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

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