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Throwback Thursday: Bonnie Raitt

on July 14, 2016 No comments

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By Paste Staff

Every Thursday, we dig through the Paste Cloud archives to revisit some of our favorite old concert videos and audio. This week, we’ve got material from Bonnie Raitt.

Bonnie Raitt: Live at Oakland Coliseum Arena, Oakland, CA 1989

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Bonnie’s band:
Johnny Lee Schell – guitar, trombone
James “Hutch” Hutchinson – bass
Walt Richmond – keyboards
Tony Braunagel – drums
Marty Grebb – keyboards, saxophone

Setlist:
0:00:00 – Bill Graham intro and Bonnie Raitt opening banter
0:01:01 – About To Make Me Leave Home
0:05:06 – Talk To Me
0:08:53 – Green Lights
0:13:03 – Too Soon To Tell
0:17:17 – Cry On My Shoulder
0:21:35 – Love Me Like A Man
0:25:34 – Give It Up Or Let Me Go
0:30:52 – Thing Called Love
0:34:56 – Love Letter
0:38:59 – Three Time Loser
0:43:16 – Nick Of Time
0:47:58 – Dedication to Lowell George
0:48:57 – River Of Tears

One of many great pioneers who oversaw the creation of the Americana/alt-country genre, Bonnie Raitt is one of traditional American music’s great treasures. This performance, from December 31th, 1989 at the Oakland Coliseum Arena in Oakland, CA, shows Raitt at a time period when this type of music was thriving. Americana was enjoying a bit of a renaissance, with Uncle Tupelo on the verge of releasing their debut album. In the next few years, acts like The Bottle Rockets, Blue Mountain and Whiskeytown would be formed and create a new sub-genre of country-rock music. Raitt, however, was a veteran of this hybrid genre, and this performance feels fluent without being too glib.

Kicking things off with “About to Make Me Leave Home,” Raitt and her fantastic band quickly put the show into high gear by following this with a NRBQ cover, “Green Lights.” Many of Bonnie Raitt’s bigger tunes were also performed including “Nick of Time,” (the title track of the album she was touring for at the time) “Love Letter” and “Have A Heart.” The show concludes with “Willya Wontcha” a number off of Bonnie Raitt’s 1982 LP Green Lights.

Raitt continues to be a huge influence on her genre; she earned a nomination for “Artist of The Year” at the 2016 Americana Music Awards. In addition, her recently released album Dig In Deep received acclaim from critics across the board. Hopefully the future still has much in store for Raitt, who is still one of the great songwriters and vocalists in Americana music. —Ben Rosner

Final night of the 1989 tour, a huge year for Bonnie.
For this concert she opened for the Grateful Dead for their annual New Year’s Eve show.
This is a high-energy performance and Bonnie’s on fire.

After her own set Bonnie played a very nice slideguitar with the Grateful Dead on the song “Big Boss Man”

 

Opening acts were New Grass Revival and Bonnie Raitt. Ms. Raitt came out to play slide with the boys on a lovely reading of the Jimmy Reed classic, ‘Big Boss Man.’

This is a song the Dead had played quite a bit between ’66 and ’72, but since it was reintroduced into their repertoire in 1981 it had only been played a handful of times. It hadn’t been played in about a year and a half at the time of this show and I was psyched to see them pull it out.

 

19891231_2302    19891231_2303

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