Thursday, June 7, 2012
Bonnie Raitt Appreciation Day
Bonnie Raitt is the real deal. I've known this for a long time, though for a stretch in the 80s---1983, the year after "Green Light," her fantastic record made with Ian McLagan's Bump Band through 1988, the year before her fantastic comeback "Nick Of Time," to be exact---Miss Raitt lost her mojo, found drugs and alcohol, and like everyone, stayed fucked up long enough to ignore Culture Club, Dead Or Alive and the Thompson Twins.
As I made my way through her catalogue last weekend, aside from noticing that almost all of her albums have horrible artwork---I mean really, look at some of these up close--
---I had a better time discovering that almost all of her releases were solid; brilliantly crafted collections of folk, rhythm and blues, soul and rock and roll. All of them, right on through her most recent release "Slipstream," find Bonnie Raitt adding her touch of class to everything from American standards and hits of the day to country blues and southern funk. Pick anyone of her first six records and Miss Raitt will wow you with her grossly underappreciated slide playing and her near-perfect voice.
I think Bonnie Raitt is taken for granted. She's always been here, doing what she does best on a consistent basis. As one reader commented while discussing the new Neil Young record:
At least Neil is out there and trying things. Unlike many of his generational peers he is not relying on rehashed templates over and over...
This may be true. And while I'm not silly enough to put any one of Bonnie's greatest records up against any of Neil's greatest, I do believe that by sticking to what one knows best, as Bonnie has for so many years, the end result is a far more satisfying musical experience.
Here is a ZIP of the Syracuse show pictured at the top of the page. It's not an uncommon tape, so you may have heard it. But it's stellar. Bonnie, pure.