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Wish you were (t)here: Bonnie Raitt at the Pavilion, April 22, 2007

on April 26, 2007 No comments
© William Walker

© William Walker

by Hawes Spencer

“This has been a heavy week,” Bonnie Raitt said, welcoming 3,000-plus fans to the newly revamped Charlottesville Pavilion in a sold-out Sunday night performance benefiting the Charlottesville Free Clinic. “So let’s just gather together, count our blessings, and dedicate this to the folks at Virginia Tech.”

Under the giant fabric dome and before a constantly moving backdrop bathed in red light, Raitt, in a shimmery green blouse, proceeded
to rock out, although she did pause to boast of her biodiesel-fueled fleet of tour vehicles. “Alternative energy, baby,” said Raitt. “It’s safe, and we don’t have to go to war over it.”

Guitarist George Marinelli tells Raitt a funny secret. © William Walker

Guitarist George Marinelli tells Raitt a funny secret. © William Walker

The mostly short-sleeved crowd, enjoying a respite from the chilly days that preceded the concert, erupted long before the russet-haired guitarist got to her bluesy country crossover hits including “Thing Called Love,” “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” and the one that quashed the celebrity hopes of Sanjaya Malakar, the would-be American Idol voted off the star-winnowing television program just four days earlier. He had performed Raitt’s trademark hit “Something to Talk About” to the howls of the celebrity judges (and apparently the public).
“Let’s give ’em something for Sanjaya to talk about,” declared Raitt to laughter and applause.

An emotional climax came soon after when she announced she’d play a John Prine song, “Angel from Montgomery,” a mournful ballad of an unfulfilled life.
“I thought about those folks from Virginia Tech during that whole song,” said Raitt as the crowd offered a standing ovation. “Virginia is for lovers, indeed.”

Source: © Copyright The Hook

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We are rocked to the core to hear of the passing of our dear friend, bandmate and musical genius, Mike Finnigan. He fought his long illness with the same fearlessness and ferocity he brought to every part of his life. Our deepest condolences go out to Candy, Kelly, Bridget and all his family.

Mike was one of the most powerful, virtuosic soul/gospel/blues singers and Hammond B3 players you’ll ever be blessed to hear. Respected and emulated by musicians the world over, his legacy of staggering
performances across his 60+ years career will stand the test of time. He stopped our show nearly every night. There was simply no one like him.

He was whipsmart, incredibly articulate and funny as hell. He was as devoted to his beloved family and friends as he was to helping so many struggling to get and stay sober. He and his wife Candy were instrumental in my own sobriety and I will be forever grateful.

Rest in peace, dear Mike. I know you’ll be shaking that Heavenly Choir to new heights as only you can do.

Here’s a clip from our 2013 Slipstream tour, where he tore up the place every night with Ray Charles’ iconic “I’ve Got News for You.”
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