THE RELEASE OF this 20-track retrospective of her nine Warners albums must be sweet revenge for Bonnie Raitt.
An original member of the quality school of writers and performers who were nourished by the label in the early ’70s, Raitt was twice dropped by Warners in the ’80s. When she and the label parted company in 1986, Raitt was alcoholic, overweight and seemingly on the scrapheap. But, as one of the great white blues interpreters, Raitt knows a bit about fighting back. Last year’s Capitol debut, Nick Of Time, earned her Grammys galore and the first million-seller of her career.
This personally selected compilation is a testament to Raitt’s ability to make songs her own and further evidence that she isn’t always the best judge of her own material. The set seems to concentrate too heavily on Raitt in blues mode at the expense of her folksy/interpretative side, with the peculiar result that the 20 tracks add up to something of an overload. Raitt’s skills as an emotive blues mama are well represented by ‘Give It Up Or Let Me Go’ and both ‘Love Has No Pride’ and ‘Guilty’ remain superb examples of her confessional style at its most undefended. Yet the fact remains that her first five albums were far superior to the increasingly desperate production experiments that succeeded 1975’s superb Home Plate. The true depth and variety of Raitt’s talents are best found on the albums of the early ’70s and this retrospective’s well-meaning decision to choose two tracks from each of her albums offers evidence of this later decline without quite doing justice to the artistic triumphs of her beginnings.
As Nick Of Time proved, balance is everything on a Bonnie Raitt record. Balance isn’t quite achieved here but there are more than enough reminders that she remains one of the finest singers of her generation, with a gift for going straight to the emotional heart of a song with a lack of self-consciousness that proves her a true child of the blues.
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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