All posts tagged muse

Five Reasons Bonnie Raitt is a Guitar Legend

on September 7, 2021 No comments
By Guitar Player Staff

Here’s why the blues guitar phenom continues to be a leading light.

B.B. King called her the “best damn slide player working today.” Indeed, with a glass slide on the second finger of her left hand, Bonnie Raitt coaxes a voice from her Fender Stratocaster as tough, sensuous and expressive as her own. Here are five reasons she remains a blues guitar legend…

1. Philadelphia

Her decades-long career almost didn’t happen. Born in Burbank, California, in 1949, to the Broadway musical star John Raitt and pianist Marjorie Haydock, Raitt began playing guitar at a young age before attending Radcliffe College and majoring in Social Relations and African studies.

While there, she got friendly with blues promoter Dick Waterman and moved with him and other musicians to Philadelphia. “It was an opportunity that young white girls just don’t get,” she said, “and as it turns out, an opportunity that changed everything.”

2. “Runaway”

Raitt was opening for “Mississippi” Fred McDowell at the Gaslight Cafe in Greenwich Village in 1970, when a reporter from Newsweek caught her performance and began to spread the word about her. Soon after, she signed with Warner Bros. and released her self-titled debut.

Raitt’s record sales were modest, but in 1977 she had her commercial breakthrough with a bluesy remake of Del Shannon’s 1961 hit, “Runaway.” The song raised her profile, and in 1980, she appeared as herself in the film Urban Cowboy, singing “Don’t It Make Ya Wanna Dance.”

Bonnie Raitt performs during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at Fair Grounds Race Course on April 28, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. © Tim Mosenfelder /WireImage

3. Perseverance

The 1980s proved tough, as Warner dropped Raitt and she battled substance abuse. In 1988, she met producer Don Was while recording a track for the Disney tribute album Stay Awake, and the two subsequently worked on her 10th album, 1989’s Nick of Time. Featuring the singles “Nick of Time,” a cover of John Hiatt’s “Thing Called Love” and “Have a Heart,” the record went to the top of the charts and swept the Grammys.

Raitt’s streak rolled along with Luck of the Draw, Longing in Their Hearts and the live Road Tested, and she turned in a Grammy-winning performance of “I’m in the Mood” with John Lee Hooker on his album The Healer. Her career has continued to thrive ever since, with her last five studio albums reaching into the Billboard Top 20, and 2012’s Slipstream debuting at the top of the Rock and Blues Albums charts.

Bonnie Raitt’s 1971 debut album is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year (Image credit: Rhino)

4. Political Activism

A politically active artist, Raitt advocates against the use of nuclear energy and is a founding member of Musicians United for Safe Energy. In 1979, she organized five concerts for MUSE at Madison Square Garden, featuring Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and many others, resulting in the album and film No Nukes. Raitt has also financed headstones for the graves of several blues legends, including Fred McDowell and Memphis Minnie.

5. Accolades

In March 2000, Raitt was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2002 she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As the blues’ premier female guitarist, she continues to enthrall and inspire.


Source: © Copyright Guitar Player

But wait, there's more!

Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Graham Nash Continue No Nukes Advocacy As Paris Climate Talks Wind Down

on December 11, 2015 No comments

Bonnie Raitt—who co-founded Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE) with Jackson Browne, Graham Nash and others—has roundly rejected pro-nuclear-power arguments heard during the Paris climate talks.

A longtime environmental activist, Raitt reacted to recent commentaries in the New York Times and the Guardian newspapers, calling for a reconsideration of nuclear power as a carbon-free energy source to combat climate change.

NPR reported on the rise in nuclear power advocacy in Paris in a Dec. 1 interview with Matthew Bunn, a nuclear and energy policy analyst and professor at Harvard University.

“Both the United States and quite a number of other countries are pushing nuclear hard as one of the clean energy options that are available,” said Bunn.

Raitt says anti-nuclear power activists stand ready to push back, hard, on “the idea that there’s some new form of nuclear power that’s safer and more viable.  There’s no solution for nuclear waste.  There have been incredible cost overruns and delays” in nuclear plant construction.  And nuclear power plants continue to pose “the security threat of terrorism,” she says.

“There are a lot of smart people on the side of pro nukes,” acknowledges Raitt,  “But I find a lot more people making the anti-nuke argument.”

Raitt made her comments during an interview about her forthcoming album “Dig in Deep,” set for release Feb. 26, which she will be supporting with a tour opening Feb. 22 in Northridge, Calif..   Selected tickets sold on this tour—as well as on tours by Browne, Nash, and David Crosby—benefit the Guacamole Fund, which supports the ongoing anti-nuclear-power efforts of MUSE and other organizations.

More than 35 years before the Paris Climate Summit drew world leaders to discuss how to avoid an environmental calamity, the artists of MUSE used their music and celebrity to draw attention to renewable, carbon-free, energy options, including wind and solar power. (Raitt, Browne and Nash co-founded MUSE with John Hall of Orleans, who subsequently served three terms in Congress, and activist Harvey Wasserstein of


In September 1979, Madison Square Garden in New York was sold out for four nights for “No Nukes, The MUSE Concerts For A Non-Nuclear Future,” featuring the group’s organizers and an all-star roster including Crosby, Stills & Nash; Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers; the Doobie Brothers; James Taylor; Carly Simon; and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

That week of concerts concluded with an anti-nuclear-power rally and concert that drew 200,000 to the then-empty landfill off Battery Park City in lower Manhattan.  Among the songs performed that day was John Hall’s “Power,” which became an anthem of the renewable energy movement.

But wait, there's more!

SEN and Bonnie Raitt Rock Out Against Nukes

on November 4, 2009 No comments
Mandy Hancock

Teaming up with the Guacamole Fund, Southern Energy Network had the awesome opportunity to promote its own anti-nuclear work in Florida, raise some money, and hang out with Bonnie Raitt. And what a great night it was!

SEN’s Field Director, Stephanie Powell and I worked with 3 amazing volunteers from University of West Florida to inform fans about the nuclear issues currently facing Florida. We encountered tons of folks who were already engaged on the issues and a few more that were in process of going off the grid with solar power installations at their homes. During the show, we took turns going in to enjoy the music. Personally, watching Bonnie perform was quite an experience! Her music has been in my life since I was pretty young, and seeing it live was phenomenal.

Bonnie Raitt, along with a number of other artists, founded a group called Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE) that opposes nuclear power in favor of safer, renewable options like solar. To help the cause, they build fundraising into their ticket sales, giving fans the choice to purchase special V.I.P. tickets.  At this Pensacola show, there was a small dessert reception afterward. Bonnie was so careful to spend a few moments with each of the folks there, chatting with them and taking a photo. At the end of it all, we had the pleasure of spending a few minutes with her as well. She is such a genuine person and was very knowledgeable about the complex intricacies of nuclear power, as well as the details of Florida’s specific challenges in the face of this risky industry. It’s great to have folks with such public access on our side, spreading real information to folks about issues that affect us all!

Source: © Copyright Southern Energy Network

But wait, there's more!