dig in deep tour

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Almost 50 years and 20 albums on with Bonnie Raitt

on April 3, 2017 No comments

By Anna Wilson

Trying to track both the recording and touring history of Bonnie Raitt is like trying to track the history of the British monarchy – it’s extensive, involved and incredibly successful.


The American blues singer has toured extensively for nearly ten months out of each year she’s been active, won ten Grammy Awards and released an arsenal of material. Last year’s Dig In Deep was the singer’s 20th album release, an addition to a discography that includes several original, live and best of albums. On top of her music, Raitt is a well-known activist and spokesperson for several socio-political causes. All this spanning a nearly 50-year career.

After all that, Raitt can be forgiven for losing track and forgetting when she last graced our shores. “Let me see what I’ve got here,” Raitt says, checking her emails from her California home. “Last time we were in Australia was 2013, that was our last cycle and coming out this year is part of our second – math was clearly not my topic.”

Raitt is headed down under for this year’s Bluesfest at Byron Bay, as well as a string of solo shows in selected cities, Melbourne included. Touring gets more and more taxing for Raitt and her band of 30 years, but the beauty of being successful, she says, is that she can pick and choose her appearances. “Thank God for the internet. If you click on it and bring up all the different shows I’ve done, that’s when I realise how many months we’ve ever spent on the road.

“The good thing about having more success is you can get everyone home to see their families, which is really helpful to maintain your relationships. Once you get the buses running with the sound and light and stuff five shows a week is how you keep it going – I like playing multiple nights but I wouldn’t want to play six on, six off.”

Keeping her touring life varied with festivals and solo shows, Raitt agrees she has the best of both worlds, with opportunities to explore different styles of live performance. “You can play more ballads and an acoustic section in a theatre, and you can have that beautiful quiet mood,” Raitt says.

“If you’re going to play a long set and everyone’s been standing in the rain or sweating in the sun for five hours, it’s going to be more rock ‘n’ roll. I enjoy both, they’re just different sides of the same coin.”

Like her live shows, Raitt’s career has been of an eclectic persuasion, effortlessly mixing genres without inserting herself in to any one label – but how has she maintained such variation? “My tastes are all over the map. I don’t do speed metal or progressive rock,” she laughs. “I love Brazilian, Celtic, gypsy, Indian, it all seeps in. I love the blues and rock‘n’roll, I love a great song by a great balladeer but singer/songwriter is where I live.

“I came out of folk music and blues, I have a lot of respect for great music and performing – I’d get really bored sticking to any one of those genres.”

With so many styles having already been addressed, one would think Raitt would soon run out of ideas – however, the singer is adamant that is not the case and still has a whole host of ideas for more albums. “There’s some music from West Africa I’d love to collaborate on, and Indigenous music in South Africa. I think to go out there and do some of that would be amazing.

“The world situation being so much more hairy in terms of safety and visas, makes it difficult for international musicians like us to travel easily. If I want to record that kind of music, I’ll have to go there, and who knows what the world will be like by then.”

Bonnie Raitt will bring Dig In Deep to Hamer Hall on Monday April 10 and perform at Byron Bay Bluesfest, taking place from Thursday April 13 until Monday April 17. Dig In Deep is out now via ADA.

Source: © Copyright Beat

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Bonnie Raitt gives ’em something to feel good about

on September 6, 2016 No comments

L. KENT WOLGAMOTT Lincoln Journal Star

Bonnie Raitt sat on a stool in the middle of the Pinewood Bowl stage Tuesday, getting ready to play an out-there version of J.B. Lenoir’s “Round and Round.”

But before she could kick off the blues, she had to wipe down the neck of her acoustic guitar.

“It’s moist here in Nebraska,” Raitt said. “I thought it was dry.”

That got some quips from the 3,500 who were able connect with Raitt from the instant she and her fine band started playing a blues rock version of INXS’s “Need You Tonight.”

That’s one of the songs on “Dig in Deep,” Raitt’s new album, which she mined extensively in Tuesday’s engagingly relaxed show that was like none other she’s done on her summer tour.

“It’s too dark to read the setlist,” she said. “I’m messing around with the setlist.”

That was clear when she called out “Let’s do ‘Unintended,'” sending the band scrambling to “Unintended Consequence of Love” from “Dig in Deep.”

That record provided a pair of the night’s highlights, a Rolling Stonesish’ version of her political rocker “The Coming Round is Goin’ Through” that found Raitt doing all her Keith guitar moves and a killer take on Los Lobos’ “Shakin, Shakin, Shakes.”

Then Raitt brought out Richard Thompson, who opened the show with a brisk 45-minute rock set with his trio for two songs, including a gorgeous acoustic guitar version of his “Dimming of the Day.”

The night’s other moment of beauty was Raitt’s moving country arrangement of “Angel from Montgomery,” her signature song.

Other highlights of the concert that ran to nearly 2 hours included a get ’em dancing version of “Something to Talk About,” a raucous Fabulous Thunderbirds cover, Raitt on piano on the set closer “What You’re Doin’ to Me.”

Raitt returned with a stunning brushes-on-snare, piano chiller, “I Can’t Make You Love Me” and then stepped to the piano for her swaying recovery rock ballad “Nick of Time.”

Raitt is a roots music treasure who works in a personal blend of blues, rock and R&B with a shade of country and pop.

That’s precisely Raitt and her band delivered on a sultry night in the venue in the park, which she loved.

“That breeze feels good,” she said during the encore. “In a half hour, let’s all meet at the lake.”

Source: © Copyright The Journal Star

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Bonnie Raitt looking forward to playing Pinewood Bowl

on September 2, 2016 No comments

L. KENT WOLGAMOTT Lincoln Journal Star

Bonnie Raitt wanted to know about Pinewood Bowl.

Told that the amphitheater in Pioneers Park was built after World War II, is now surrounded by trees, but has only been used for concerts for five years, Raitt said she was eager to get to Lincoln for Tuesday’s show.

“I’m looking forward to playing this beautiful, as they call it, a jewel of an amphitheater,” she said. “It’s going to be really fun to see it. I’m so glad they built it years ago and have reinstated it.”

Then she was informed of those who have preceded her on the Pinewood stage this summer — Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and Ringo Starr.

“Wow, I’m honored to be in that company,” Raitt said. “I hope we do as well.”

A pioneering woman in blues rock, known for her slide guitar brilliance and singing that has been praised by the likes of Adele, Raitt fits easily with the other Rock and Roll Hall of Famers on the 2016 Pinewood lineup.

But she said she doesn’t think much about her legacy or impact.

“That’s sort of what journalists do about me, maybe,” Raitt said. “But I don’t sit and think about it myself. I’m happy when younger artists come up and say that I’m one of the few artists that both their parents and them like, that makes me proud — sometimes it’s three generations of fans … Now people like Adele have mentioned that she really loves the way I sing “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” She does a beautiful version herself. I think there’s a lot of women singers and musicians on the soul music end of things that I’m very proud that they cite me as someone that was an influence.”

The 10-time Grammy Award winner and her band will come into Pinewood with a show that features songs from “Dig in Deep,” which includes a handful of songs Raitt wrote following the long tour for “Slipstream,” her 2012 best Americana album winner.

“I wrote these songs on this new record so I could play them live,” she said in a call from Cincinnati. “That was really the impetus for coming up with a lot of the originals on this one. There were certain lyrical and musical things that I wanted to add to the show that we already have …

“I wanted to play piano on that shuffle of ‘What You’re Doing to Me.’ I love playing that style of piano. I rarely play piano in the set, I play it on ‘Nick of Time.’ …This was one that was a real barnburner that I could utilize my incredible B-3 player, Mike Finnigan, sitting next to me. We just tear it up every night playing that live …

“Between the political rocker, the piano song, the funk tune and a really cool song my guitarist sent me the music (for) called ‘If You Need Somebody,’ which is kind of a different take than I usually do but kind of in that Motown, Philadelphia soul genre that I love so much. It’s fun to add some new feel to the set.”

Some of those songs, including the album’s closer “The Ones We Couldn’t Be,” have very personal lyrics, reflecting on the passing of her parents and her older brother, while “The Comin’ Round is Going Through” takes on the flood of cash into politics and the rule of the 1 percent via Rolling Stones-ish rock.

“Both sides side of the spectrum can get pissed off about what’s wrong with the system,” said Raitt, an outspoken activist for decades. “I don’t pull any punches about my own leanings. But that’s not what that song’s about. … I don’t normally writes songs of that nature. I have one called ‘Hell to Pay’ that I wrote years ago when I was also kind of upset about the Moral Majority and the hypocrisy that was around that.

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