Superstar Bonnie Raitt is the big crowd-puller during the first Holland International Blues Festival on 3 and 4 June 2016. Next spring, artists and aficionados will gather at the Woodstock-like festival site in Grolloo in the Dutch province of Drenthe for this two-day event entirely focussed on blues music. According to co-organiser and blues fan Johan Derksen it was about time for a festival like Holland International Blues: “This is what makes the difference between a bunch of noise and real music.”
Johan Derksen and the organisers have, in addition to Bonnie Raitt, also confirmed Beth Hart, Jools Holland, Ana Popovic, Jimmie Vaughan, JJ Grey, and Robert Randolph for the festival.
Derksen: “We wish the whole event to breathe the atmosphere of Woodstock. But then, of course, with better facilities. The festival site of Grolloo proves to be the ideal location for that. For me, blues music is pure enjoyment. In a fitting surroundings with like-minded souls. And naturally, I am hoping that all kinds of fun and spontaneous actions occur, Jools Holland for example loves jamming and improvising and the blues is perfect for that.”
For the fans of Bonnie Raitt, the festival offers a unique opportunity to see this 10-time Grammy winner perform live. The singer will not give any other performances in our country and will be on stage on the second day of the festival.
Pre-sales starts on Friday 20 November at 10:00 o’clock. Tickets (through Ticketmaster) cost Euro 45 for one day and Euro 75 for those who wish to attend both days. For the people who with to stay overnight there are plenty of camping sites in the vicinity of the festival site. With this festival, Grolloo becomes the Blues Village of the Netherlands.
You expect to hear the names of such folk music landmarks as Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly and the Weavers invoked at a folk festival. But Elvis Presley?
It was Woody’s son, Arlo Guthrie, who brought up Elvis during the opening day of the “Troubadours of Folk” festival Saturday at UCLA’s Drake Stadium–and his story and song proved one of the most illuminating moments in the sometimes unwieldy but generally endearing 11-hour affair, which ended around 10 p.m.
Joni Mitchell and John Prine contributed the day’s most rewarding performances, and guest appearances by Bonnie Raitt and Tom Petty added glamour, but Guthrie’s story about Elvis defined the magic that is folk music.
Guthrie told of being with folk music icon Pete Seeger at a European festival after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Knowing that many in the crowd of 30,000 couldn’t speak English, Seeger sang folk classics so familiar around the world that the audience had no trouble singing along.
John Prine – “Live at the Troubadours of Folk Festival 1993” UCLA, Los Angeles, CA. 1993-06-05
This is a nice John Prine concert recorded by Rick Williams. John introduced “Ain’t Hurtin’ Nobody” as a new song, written just a couple of weeks ago. Also nice to hear Bonnie Raitt joining Prine on a couple of songs.
00:00 Intro 00:20 Spanish Pipedream 03:33 Picture Show 07:49 You Got Gold 12:31 All the Best 16:59 Angel From Montgomery [w/ Bonnie Raitt] 22:21 Ain’t Hurtin’ Nobody [w/ Bonnie Raitt] 28:21 My Old Man (Steve Goodman cover) 32:51 It’s a Big Old Goofy World
John Prine – acoustic guitar, vocals Bill Bonk – harmonica, electric guitar, mandolin Phil Parlapiano – keyboards, accordion, mandolin, slide guitar Benmont Tench – keyboards Howie Epstein – bass Debra Dobkin – percussion Bonnie Raitt – vocals on “Angel From Montgomery” and “Ain’t Hurtin’ Nobody” Lili Haydn – fiddle on “My Old Man”
After doing the obvious ones, including “We Shall Overcome,” Seeger good-naturedly challenged Arlo to come up with some more folk tunes with similar universality. Seeger, a folk purist, bristled when Guthrie said he was going to sing a Presley song.
As Guthrie began “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” the story went, the audience joined in as easily as before. Guthrie glanced over at Seeger, who was aghast. However, Seeger then slowly stepped to the microphone with his banjo–and began playing the song that he, too, knew so well.
The point, Guthrie said Saturday, is to forget all the definitions of folk music–and the snobbery that grows out of the idea that the music is the private property of a select group of artists or fans. One should simply look for songs that bind people together by underscoring their mutual humanity and heart.
Guthrie then sang the Presley ballad and was joined by much of the crowd, which was estimated at 6,000–a turnout probably reduced from the organizers’ 15,000 goal by the threat of rain.
Saturday’s lineup–ranging from Janis Ian and Ted Hawkins to Leon Redbone and the Kingston Trio–echoed the message of Guthrie’s story. In fact, the show, which was taped for a PBS special, served as such a valuable primer on the breadth of folk music that it was fitting that the event–with its accompanying crafts exhibits and issue booths–was held on a university campus.
In her well-received, mid-afternoon set, Judy Collins touched on both matters of the heart and the conscience, opening with the romantic longing of her ‘60s hit “Someday Soon,” then focusing on the idealistic “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream.”
The Folksmen, who followed, are the Spinal Tap gang in the striped shirts associated with the Kingston Trio and with the slightly archivist aura associated with the collegiate, hootenanny boom of the ‘60s. While in the right context the humor may prove as uproarious as the trio’s classic assault on heavy-metal music, it seemed underdeveloped Saturday.
Roger McGuinn, who was a Chicago folkie before moving to Los Angeles in the mid-’60s and helping pioneer folk-rock with the Byrds, was joined on various numbers by Richard Thompson, Odetta and Petty as he exhibited a winning respect for the folk music form on songs from both his Byrds and solo days.
After Guthrie, the Jefferson Starship delivered an “unplugged” edition that may reflect some wing of folk music. But there was no need to take more than an hour (including stage set-up time) to document their ham-fisted approach on a day when far more important artists were limited to 30 minutes or less.
If there were strong nostalgia components to many of the day’s performances and a strong ‘60s-wannabes vibe to the mostly thirtysomething and above crowd, Eric Andersen injected a ‘90s reality with a striking new song about the rise of neo-Nazi sentiments in Europe.
Similarly, the sets by Prine and Mitchell–two master songwriters–included a few old favorites, but concentrated on new material.
Backed by a four-piece band that included Benmont Tench on keyboards and Howie Epstein on bass, Prine sang two songs from his last album, the Grammy-winning “The Missing Years,” and one new, unrecorded tune. He was joined by Raitt on the new song and on “Angel From Montgomery,” which she recorded years ago.
It was late (almost 9 p.m.) and cold by the time Mitchell came on stage with her guitar for a rare performance that featured several new, unrecorded compositions–tunes that confirmed that Mitchell, whose “Night Ride Home” album last year was her most acclaimed in years, is going through another productive period.
In a surprise twist near the end of her set, she even gave Arlo Guthrie something to tell Pete Seeger about. She sang a song called “How Do You Stop,” which she learned from a 1986 album by another great folk-singer . . . James Brown.
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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