Bonnie Raitt’s music has always reflected her latest enthusiasm: her Celtic heritage in the “Luck of the Draw” era, Zimbabwean music a few years ago. On her current tour, which stopped at Wolf Trap on Monday and returns tonight, she’s reveling in herself.
Raitt is a generous performer, and on Monday she gave ample time in the spotlight to keyboardist Jon Cleary, whose New Orleans strut sound provided many joyous moments. She praised the other longtime members of her band, gave a shout-out to Public Citizen and dedicated “Papa Come Quick” to WRNR DJ Damian Einstein. But unquestionably personal concerns were reflected in a version of “Nick of Time,” in which the verse about her aging parents was, poignantly, newly set in the past tense.
She dug deep into her catalogue for authoritative yet comfortable readings of Sippie Wallace’s “Woman Be Wise” and NRBQ’s “Me and the Boys.” Recent songs such as Maia Sharp’s “I Don’t Want Anything to Change” were strong, but old favorites such as “Angel From Montgomery” and “Love Letter” — both featuring guest vocals and guitar by opener Keb’ Mo’ — were incandescent.
“I Can’t Make You Love Me,” so familiar it’s hard to hear anew, became a portrait of wonder and pain, with Raitt’s voice taking on a fullness that the blues-loving waif of 35 years ago must have longed to achieve. She’s grown into a powerhouse performer, yes, but the spark of rediscovery is always there, turning what might otherwise seem like laurel-resting or midlife dilettantism into impassioned renewal. May she never lose the power to surprise.
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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