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Bonnie Raitt: David Crosby’s favourite singer of all time

on March 5, 2023 No comments
by Arun Starkey

The late David Crosby was a man famed for his hot takes. From his days in The Byrds to his final moments, expressing his opinions freely was a key part of his brand. Crosby’s thoughts came in many forms over the years. These included controversial incidents in which he criticised his former bandmates and their wives, a regret he would ultimately carry with him until the end.

Understandably, his outspoken ways generated a variety of results. His former bandmate Neil Young once famously remarked: “Crosby should write an introspective book: ‘Why People Won’t Talk to Me Anymore’.” When he passed away earlier in the year, despite what commentators might have thought of him, it was widely accepted that music had lost one of its most colourful characters.

Of course, one thing is also sure regarding David Crosby; he knew what he was talking about when it came to music. After all, the man could claim to have been a vital figure in two of the most seminal outfits in music history. Across his storied career, Crosby was often asked about his favourite musicians, and over the years, he made it clear who his favourite singer was. 

That title went to Bonnie Raitt, the brilliant American blues singer and guitarist who collaborated with Warren Zevon, The Pointer Sisters and John Prine in her time. When participating in the 2008 Rolling Stone ballot for ‘The 100 Greatest Singers’, Crosby named Raitt as his choice for the greatest, ahead of James Taylor and John Lennon, who sat at two and three, respectively. Then, some 14 years after the survey, Crosby hadn’t changed his mind. He wrote on Twitter: “Bonnie Raitt has been my most favourite singer for a long time ….does no tricks …no vocal pyrotechnics …but she tells the Tale, and her heart is in it, and she is just a beautiful singer”.

After Crosby passed away on January 18th, Raitt penned a kind tribute for her late friend, posted through her official website. She wrote:

“Beyond words, my sadness at saying goodbye to my dear friend. David’s brilliance and uniqueness as a singer, songwriter and guitarist will always set him apart and among the very best. There was no one like him, on or off stage. Thank you, David, for all you gave us. For all the years of our shared music, activism and friendship. Yours was a life truly well lived. My deepest condolences to Jan, Django, James and all the family. I know he will live on in our hearts and his music forever.
— Bonnie”.


Source: © Copyright Far Out Magazine

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on January 26, 1994 No comments
By Geoffrey Himes

Voters for Choice fundraiser for Roe v. Wade Anniversary with Jimmy Dale Gilmore, CSN, The Story – Constitution Hall, Washington, D.C. 1-22-1994

When the Supreme Court handed down the Roe v. Wade decision on Jan. 22, 1973, Bonnie Raitt’s career was just getting underway. To celebrate the 21st anniversary of that ruling at Saturday’s Voters for Choice benefit concert in Constitution Hall, Raitt revisited those days. Accompanied only by guitarist-bassist Johnny Lee Schell, she built her set around old blues tunes by Fred McDowell, J.B. Lenoir and Chris Smither. “I haven’t played these songs in so long,” she exclaimed. “This is a powerful night for me.”

It was a welcome reminder of the long, glorious career Raitt had before she became an “overnight” success in 1990. Raitt may fill another shelf with Grammies from her new album due next month, but it’s unlikely she will ever give a performance more forceful than Saturday’s rendition of John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery.” On this song about what happens to a woman with not enough choices, Raitt delivered some verses talking-blues style and belted out the chorus in that blues-soaked, daughter-of-Broadway voice of hers. Later she was joined by David Crosby and Graham Nash for harmonies on “Love Has No Pride,” and she joined them on the finale, “Teach Your Children.”

Crosby, Stills & Nash, the evening’s headliners, are little more than a nostalgia act these days. At least they faithfully re-created their earlier recordings Saturday — something they have often failed to do over the past 10 years. Opening the show was the Story, sort of a young, female version of Crosby & Nash. Like the headliners, Jonatha Brooke and Jennifer Kimball offered earnest politics and ethereal harmonies untethered to any particular tradition.

Well rooted in traditions was Jimmie Dale Gilmore, who preceded Raitt. The evening’s emcee, Gloria Steinem, introduced him as a “bridge builder,” and the long, tall Texan proved it by stitching his blues, honky-tonk and bohemian-folk sources into a sound unified by its warbling beauty. Backed by guitarist Chris Gage and percussionist Paul Pearcy, Gilmore sang songs by Johnny Cash, Butch Hancock and Lucinda Williams and made them all sound like acts of confession.

Source: © Copyright The Washington Post

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