By Nate Todd
Bonnie Raitt was born on this date in 1949. The renowned guitarist and singer-songwriter hails from Los Angeles but also has close ties with Boston, Philadelphia, New York and Austin. Texas has a rich blues tradition and Austin’s famed Antone’s club has long been the epicenter of the Texas blues scene. With her music so rooted in the blues, Raitt’s connection to Austin is no surprise.
What is surprising is that Bonnie’s appearance on another beloved Austin institution, Austin City Limits, in 2002 was just her second and first in nearly 20 years. But the guitarist delivered a doozy on May 16, 2002, welcoming a trio of special guests, including John Prine, which would later air as the premiere for Season 28.
Bonnie’s ACL play in 2002 was also special in that it was filmed outside of the program’s longtime home at the historic Austin City Limits studio at KLRU-TV in Austin. For the beloved Bonnie Raitt, the show had to find new digs in the Austin Convention Center so that more of Raitt’s Austin fans could see the concert, marking just the third time the show had been filmed outside KLRU at the time.
Sitll backed by the show’s iconic backdrop of the Austin skyline, Bonnie Raitt and her band — guitarist George Marinelli, bassist James ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson, drummer Ricky Fataar, keyboardist Jon Cleary, saxophonist Philippe Vieux and percussionist Kenny Nashamba — got the show underway with “Love Letter” from Raitt’s landmark 1989 album, Nick Of Time. Following “Fool’s Game” and “I Can’t Help You Now,” Raitt welcomed her first guest, famed blues guitarist Roy Rogers.
Roy has an impressive resume including performing on and producing four albums for blues legend John Lee Hooker as well as collaborating with Linda Ronstadt, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Carlos Santana, Steve Miller, Ray Manzarek and more. For his guest spot with Bonnie at ACL, the guitarists delivered their collaboration, “Gnawin’ On It,” which features a smoking riff from Roy.
After “Silver Lining,” the title track to her 2002 album, Raitt brought out Oliver Mtukudzi. The prolific Zimbabwean musician and activist, who sadly passed away in 2019, collaborated with Bonnie on Silver Lining’s “Hear Me Lord,” on which Oliver delivered his signature husky vocals and spirited performance style. Bonnie continued with an additional Silver Lining cut, “No Gettin’ Over You,” before returning to her previous album, 1998’s Fundamental, with the title track paired with “Good Man, Good Woman” off 1991’s Luck Of The Draw. Raitt then offered the Luck Of The Draw classic, “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” as the penultimate song of the set
“Saved something very special for the end here,” Raitt said before welcoming longtime friend and collaborator, the late great John Prine, to perform his classic that she has largely made her own, “Angel From Montgomery.” The old friends offered a gorgeous duet on the song to wrap up the ACL concert.
Bonnie Raitt – Austin City Limits – Recorded May 16, 2002 and Aired Oct. 5, 2002 on PBS
00:00 Love Letter
04:08 Fool’s Game
08:08 I Can’t Help You Now
11:30 Gnawin’ On It – with Roy Rogers
17:20 Silver Lining
24:01 Hear Me Lord – with Oliver Mtukudzi
30:01 No Gettin’ Over You
34:55 Fundamental / Good Man, Good Woman
40:13 I Can’t Make You Love Me
46:20 Angel From Montgomery – with John Prine
George Marinelli – Guitars
James ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson – Bass
Ricky Fataar – Drums
Jon Cleary – Keyboards
Philippe Vieux – Baritone sax
Kenny Nashamba – Percussion
Cover Photo by Scott Newton
Austin City Limits kicks off its 28th season with the rockin’ rowdy blues of legendary Grammy winner Bonnie Raitt – 16 May 2002 Raitt is joined by blues guitarist Roy Rogers, Zimbabwe pop star Oliver Mtukudzi and singer-songwriter John Prine during her hour-long performance.
For Austin City Limits’ season 28 debut, Raitt performs songs from her most recent album, Silver Lining, plus some of her signature tunes. Highlights include “Gnawin’ On It” featuring Roy Rogers, “Hear Me Lord” with Oliver Mtukudzi and “Angel of Montgomery” with John Prine.
In addition to kicking-off the new season, this episode will go down in Austin City Limits’ history. For only the third time since the series premiered in 1975, this episode was taped outside the historic Austin City Limits studio at KLRU-TV in Austin.
The special performance was recorded at the Austin Convention Center, which gave more of Raitt’s dedicated fans the chance to dance to her soul-bearing blues.
* In Memory of John Prine and Oliver Mtukudzi *
|Channel||Bonnie’s Pride and Joy|
|Bands||Bonnie Raitt (See 41 videos) , Oliver Mtukudzi & Black Spirits (See 9 videos) , Roy Rogers and John Prine (See 40 videos)|