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Review: Veterans Taylor, Raitt deliver exquisite show

on February 20, 2019 No comments
L. KENT WOLGAMOTT Lincoln Journal Star

At 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, James Taylor took the stage at Pinnacle Bank Arena to introduce “my favorite performer,” Bonnie Raitt.

Three hours later, Raitt and Taylor were again onstage together, closing an exquisite concert by the two veterans who are at the peak of their form.

Taylor’s 1-hour, 45-minute show was simply but effectively staged with a screen behind he and band flashing pictures from throughout his career — appropriate, because his set was largely a collection of his best-known songs, delivered by his excellent 11-piece band.

Gallery (6)

James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt at Pinnacle Bank Arena – Lincoln 2-20-2019 © Francis Gardler (Journal Star)

Affable and engaging, Taylor introduced many of the songs with little stories, like that of his nervousness auditioning for Apple Records with “Something in the Way She Moves,” which he began alone on acoustic guitar as he surely played it then.

Then came the “cowboy lullaby” he wrote for his baby nephew — “Sweet Baby James,” which began the string of hits — “Fire and Rain,” an uplifting “Shed a Little Light,” “Your Smiling Face,” “Shower The People.”

All were beautifully sung by Taylor, who is a fine balladeer, inside arrangements for the band that varied in softly beautiful fashion from the familiar recorded versions.

Raitt’s hour-long opening set was fresh — a change-up from her most recent shows that added three notable numbers that showcased what her music is about.

The first of those was an up-tempo blues number on which Raitt traded slide guitar licks with keyboardist Ivan Neville of the Neville Brothers.

Then came “Angel from Montgomery,” her heartbreaking folk-country ballad, and a funky cover of the Talking Heads’ “Burning Down The House.”

Raitt managed to squeeze in most of her best-known songs, including a moving “Nick of Time,” on which she played piano and sang with Arnold McCuller of Taylor’s band.

Taylor returned to the stage to join in on her closer, “Thing Called Love.”

Raitt returned the favor on Taylor’s encore, first with a rocking version of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” and, after a fine “You’ve Got a Friend,” sending a satisfied crowd of 7,000 out into the snow with a hushed, lovely “You Close Your Eyes.”

Reach the writer at 402-473-7244 or

On Twitter @LJSWolgamott

Source: © Copyright Lincoln Journal Star
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On this Memorial Day, I'd like to share the lyrics to my song "A SOLDIER AT WAR", dedicated to all the soldiers from all the wars who DIDN'T die, all those who have been living with the internal scars of their war experience. My heart goes out to you all, and I certainly do appreciate your service to our country. Is this an "anti-war song"...YES! And I dedicate these lyrics to the great Ron Kovic, author of "Born On The Fourth Of July".


I’m a soldier at war.
I know you’ve seen my face before.
I am Red, White, and Blue.
I am black and brown and yellow too.
I have killed and I have died,
All alone and damaged deep inside.
And the child I used to be,
Was sacrificed for some insanity.

Left a boy, now half a man,
My innocence was lost in a foreign land.
I fought so hard and I fought so long,
I fought for my country, right or wrong.
In the eye of the slaughter,
No Star Spangled Banner did I see.
There is blood on the water,
It’s flowing like the blood inside of me.

In smoke-fill rooms, the Men Of Might
Will send your son somewhere to fight.
And I am one of many more,
Just pawns in a Holy War.

In a field where the food used to grow,
There’s a murder of crows.

Now the war is dead and gone,
But the battle goes on and on.
And the dream that used to be
Is buried so deep inside of me.
I believed what I was told,
But all that glitters is not gold.
I still see my brother’s hand…..
Why he died, I’ll never understand.

I’m a soldier at war.
I know you’ve seen my face before.
Just a name and a loaded gun,
One more lost, forsaken son.
I’m a soldier at war.
I’m a soldier at war….
Just a soldier at war.
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1 day ago

From BRHQ -- Today is release day for a brand-new 2-CD set featuring Four Classic John Raitt Albums plus Bonus Tracks on Stage Door Records! More information below and to order, please visit: (Domestic shipping within the U.S.) (Imported from the UK)
#johnraitt #bonnieraitt #stagedoorrecords #broadway
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So sad to mark the passing of Sweet Pea Atkinson, whose backup vocals on all my GRAMMY-winning albums and so many others' added so much grit and soul. He was a real character--as delightful as he was sweet under that gruff exterior, and truly and one of the greatest soul singers I've ever heard. We will miss him dearly and send our condolences to his family. #ripsweetpea ... See MoreSee Less

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