Bonnie Raitt - Classic or Dud?

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Annoyingly dull MOR Grammy whore? Or legitimately great and unique blues-rocker goddess?

I lean towards the former.

My name is Kenny (My name is Kenny), Wednesday, 22 January 2003 21:05 (twenty years ago) link


hstencil, Wednesday, 22 January 2003 21:10 (twenty years ago) link

Classic. Gotta represent for the alma mater!

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Wednesday, 22 January 2003 21:12 (twenty years ago) link

I wish I had a copy of her song "Have A Heart" from the movie "Heart Condition." I wish I never heard her cover of "Burning Down The House".

I like her as a person, but I'll say dud because I'm realizing I'd rather not hear again the overwhelming majority of songs I've heard of hers.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Wednesday, 22 January 2003 21:14 (twenty years ago) link

Bonnie Raitt went to Harvard?

Kris (aqueduct), Wednesday, 22 January 2003 21:42 (twenty years ago) link

It was Radcliffe at the time, but yup. She lived in my wife's dorm.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Wednesday, 22 January 2003 21:54 (twenty years ago) link

My dad always liked her, has just about all of her album. Never stuck with me either way, though, I remember his Crystal Gayle records more.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 22 January 2003 22:51 (twenty years ago) link

Lady can sing like no one's business, plays a mean slide guitar, and mostly has good taste. She got slicker as time went by, sure, but Nick of Time has a bunch of great songs on it, and even some of the subsequent ones are pretty good. Her version of "Angel From Montgomery" is the definitive one, and I say that as someone who actually likes John Prine's voice. Plus, bonus points for her efforts on behalf of blues and R&B elders -- both in getting them some recognition, and getting them some health insurance. Classy, class act, classic.

Jesse Fox (Jesse Fox), Thursday, 23 January 2003 06:26 (twenty years ago) link

Fuckin' right on.

Nick Mirov (nick), Thursday, 23 January 2003 07:36 (twenty years ago) link

I totally want to hear her do the Radcliffe fight song in concert.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 23 January 2003 15:41 (twenty years ago) link

The Neptunes apparently want to work with her for their next project.

Marcello Carlin, Thursday, 23 January 2003 15:50 (twenty years ago) link

Yeah, I remember reading something about that. VH1 is the next frontier.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 23 January 2003 15:53 (twenty years ago) link

Is there a point where "dadrock" becomes acceptable?


TMFTML (TMFTML), Thursday, 23 January 2003 16:56 (twenty years ago) link

one year passes...
She does a great 'Too Long at the Fair' from the mid-70s on _The Old Grey Whistle Test_ DVD that just came out.

57 7th (calstars), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 17:35 (nineteen years ago) link

"I Can't Make You Love Me" is a pretty good ballad.

And I thought that before Pharrell called it "the illest song ever."

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 18:52 (nineteen years ago) link

JesseFox pretty otm. Her earthiness fuels rather than compromises her intelligence, but it's also responsible for her questionable taste - she doesn't care much about it.

gabbneb (gabbneb), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 19:07 (nineteen years ago) link

Her live version of "Angel from Montgomery" on the John Prine anthology is just about one of the most moving songs I have ever heard.

Scott CE (Scott CE), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 19:25 (nineteen years ago) link

She looks a bit like Jean Grey in that painting.

57 7th (calstars), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 19:49 (nineteen years ago) link

"Thing Called Love" is great. She ain't no queen of Sheba!

miloauckerman (miloauckerman), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 20:10 (nineteen years ago) link

I've got nothing against her. I'm kinda sick of her handful of biggies (like I'm sick of 85% of the meagre playlist of the radio station that plays here all day), but I'm sure I'd like her '70s stuff better, and one day I'll check some of it out. Plus she plays a mean slide, and redheads are always cool.

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 20:37 (nineteen years ago) link

I regret calling her a dud in my last post. She'd make nice at-home listening.

CeCe Peniston (Anthony Miccio), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 20:42 (nineteen years ago) link

Yeah, fuck listening to her on-the-go.

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 21:19 (nineteen years ago) link

I just mean my indifference to her was based on hearing her on radio/seeing her on TV. If I was just resting at my place reading her album might sound pretty good.

CeCe Peniston (Anthony Miccio), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 21:21 (nineteen years ago) link

no way...she's "jeep beats" all the way! pump in the hummer for the summer.

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 21:22 (nineteen years ago) link


amateur!st (amateurist), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 21:38 (nineteen years ago) link

Of course she is. She can still kick some serious ass.

jim wentworth (wench), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 01:28 (nineteen years ago) link

As someone else said, "I Can't Make You Love Me" is a pretty good ballad. It sounds rater dated and of it's time, but the emotion is (here goes) heartfelt and soulful.

mentalist (mentalist), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 03:44 (nineteen years ago) link

I have mixed feelings about Bonnie Raitt. Is being the female Eric Clapton a good thing? Her version of "Love Has No Pride" is pretty devastating.

Sara Sherr, Wednesday, 30 June 2004 04:21 (nineteen years ago) link

I just got a collection of her 70s stuff and was put-off by how Jackson Browne-So California 70's it sounded. The blues are fine but a lot of it just felt very played to me. Maybe it sounded better back then?

57 7th (calstars), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 14:29 (nineteen years ago) link

seriously, listen to 1972's Give It Up before you pass judgment on Bonnie, it's a stone-cold blues-rock classic.

Josh Love (screamapillar), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 14:33 (nineteen years ago) link

"too soon to tell" is another great ballad. that El Lay studio style is sort of neutral, IMO: it can be used in an exciting or a desultory manner.

amateur!st (amateurist), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 14:58 (nineteen years ago) link

Is there a point where "dadrock" becomes acceptable?

if you're shallow enough to cut out large swaths of the musical landscape for being "dadrock," then i don't know. probably better just to keep the blinders on.

amateur!st (amateurist), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 15:00 (nineteen years ago) link

big ol redheaded dud. blues and roots as freedried terrier attrocity.

i wish i could make a video with dennis quaid.

jack cole (jackcole), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 15:01 (nineteen years ago) link

i'm sort of tempted to draw a line in the sand here. i'm not raitt's biggest fan, but i feel like someone who claims to appreciate rock/pop music and finds NOTHING of value in her music has got, as noted above, some serious blinders on.

i mean, yeah, she's white, she went to radcliffe, she sings the bloze, her recent records are slick, she records with El Lay studio dudes, she has boring videos, she's a vh1 staple, all of your friends' parents have her records alongside nanci griffith and those putamayo comps. none of that matters though!

amateur!st (amateurist), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 15:05 (nineteen years ago) link


amateur!st (amateurist), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 15:05 (nineteen years ago) link

"Give It Up or Let Me Go" completely invalidates the need to have this discussion.

Josh Love (screamapillar), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 15:06 (nineteen years ago) link

ha, just about the only music my mom listens to is nanci griffith

Josh Love (screamapillar), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 15:06 (nineteen years ago) link

raitt et al:our generation::"classic pop":baby boomers
(see "old world"--modern lovers for ref.)

amateur!st (amateurist), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 15:07 (nineteen years ago) link

*listening to Bonnie when I go home for lunch*

Josh Love (screamapillar), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 15:08 (nineteen years ago) link

I like her playing, but tend to appreciate her music more than I actually dig it. It's something about her singing -- a lazy edge to it that seems like subsitute soul.

briania (briania), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 15:13 (nineteen years ago) link

eight months pass...
woah, her version of Del Shannon's "Runaway" is pretty hot! big props!! I totally need to buy all her records.

Stormy Davis (diamond), Sunday, 13 March 2005 10:43 (eighteen years ago) link

love 'Nick of Time'(the song) and 'I can't make you love me', and haven't been privy to/subjected to anything else that would ruin my Raitt vibe, so classic by default

tremendoid (tremendoid), Sunday, 13 March 2005 10:52 (eighteen years ago) link

one month passes...
again, so classic

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Wednesday, 4 May 2005 18:39 (eighteen years ago) link

"love has no pride"!!

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Wednesday, 4 May 2005 18:39 (eighteen years ago) link

Not a huge fan, but "Stayed Too Long at the Fair" is a fucking classic. One of these days I'll get some of her '70s stuff. Glad she made her money, don't care about her '80s and '90s music at all.

edd s hurt (ddduncan), Wednesday, 4 May 2005 22:53 (eighteen years ago) link

I love her version of the Roy Orbison song "You Got It." And for some reason I've never gotten tired of "Something To Talk About"; it's both classic and dud. She takes this generic song, sings the hell out of it, adds some unexpectedly gritty guitar, and the thing was more subversive than anything on Top 40 radio at the time.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 5 May 2005 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Classic for "Angel From Montgomery" alone. Anything else worthwhile is gravy, anything less than worthwhile is pardoned.

rogermexico (rogermexico), Thursday, 5 May 2005 00:04 (eighteen years ago) link

Alfred Soto otm, as is frequently the case

gabbneb (gabbneb), Thursday, 5 May 2005 01:14 (eighteen years ago) link

So I didn't like Eric Clapton's Tears In Heaven so much, and I wasn't all that excited about the unplugged version of Layla that got flogged to death on the radio. It kind of bothered that Mum told me to turn down my Cream albums as a teen, yet she in turn cranked up EC's Unplugged album in later years. Sick of all that as I am, I can't pronounce him a dud for the simple fact that he's really not. Cheese that your mum likes doesn't cancel out damn fine guitar playing & a hefty back catalog of kickass songs.

(and I reach my point): Nor would I do Bonnie Raitt such a disservice. She has earned the right to be a classic. Bonnie rocks!!!!!

VegemiteGrrl (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 5 May 2005 02:22 (eighteen years ago) link

"i can't make you love me" is pretty devastating.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Thursday, 5 May 2005 05:18 (eighteen years ago) link

Warner Bros. should be your next stop then. That will cover her entire career before her unlikely "comeback" at Capitol. First three albums are probably her best. After that the albums get much more uneven, but nearly all of them have some good stuff on them.

In terms of the worst, that's easily the last WB album Nine Lives, completed under desultory conditions. (I like the Toots Hibbert cover though - it was a single.) The Glow isn't good either, but it does have a great Stax/Volt cover, "Your Good Thing (Is About To End)."

birdistheword, Monday, 8 November 2021 22:53 (two years ago) link

"Something to Talk About" was such a unexpected phenomenon. A year and a half after her Grammys comeback, she earns a top fiver played alongside Karyn White and Jesus Jones and Marky Mark. Fully earned too -- she sings and plays the shit out of it.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 8 November 2021 22:55 (two years ago) link

That's for sure. I didn't realize how miraculous Bonnie Raitt's popularity was until years later.

FWIW Billboard did an oral history on Nick of Time for its anniversary:

It's a good read for fans and really emphasizes how much she bottomed out and how low the expectations were, even by the people who signed her Capitol (and they liked her). NOBODY in their right mind would've bet on a hit.

I kind of wish she pulled off an album with Prince, but given his luck with everyone else on his label, it probably worked out for the best.

birdistheword, Monday, 8 November 2021 23:09 (two years ago) link

XP ...and then a few years later it gave a name to a now largely-forgotten Julia Roberts/Dennis Quaid romcom!

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 9 November 2021 00:43 (two years ago) link

It's even in the trailer!

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 9 November 2021 00:51 (two years ago) link

nice to see all the love for Give It Up and Green Light, HBD rock legend

Communist Hockey Goblin (sleeve), Tuesday, 9 November 2021 01:07 (two years ago) link

one of the all-time voices

surm, Tuesday, 9 November 2021 01:16 (two years ago) link

And Home Plate is yet another 70s peak. The follow-up, Sweet Forgiveness is not quite as good, but she set the bar high, and, as xgau said of this un, Anyone who can induce me to dance to Eric Kaz has got to be doing some kind of job.

dow, Tuesday, 9 November 2021 01:22 (two years ago) link

said of Sweet Forgiveness, that is.

dow, Tuesday, 9 November 2021 01:23 (two years ago) link

three months pass...

Way too many pesky ads on this JamBase item, but here's gist:
Bonnie Raitt & Mavis Staples Announce Summer Tour 2022
The iconic musicians will team up for concerts in July, August and September.

By Scott Bernstein Feb 16, 2022 • 8:16 am PST

dow, Thursday, 17 February 2022 03:18 (one year ago) link

Only in the midwest and west. The east and southeast get Lucinda Williams, which is...fine, but it ain't Mavis.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Thursday, 17 February 2022 05:15 (one year ago) link

Also several with NRBQ, and at least one w Chris Smither, but mostly Mavis or Lucinda:

dow, Friday, 18 February 2022 01:45 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

Paywalled, but at the library just now, I read WSJ full-page rave for Just Like That, out Friday: Mark Richardson is not the most exciting writer, but we happen to agree on some stuff (like preferring Rust Bucket to Barn), and he's very conscientious, while going almost cut for cut through this one, which is apparently a colorful cohesion of originals and covers whose titles I don't recognize, nothing too obvious. Only thing that worries me: says the sound is "lean," foregrounding her vocals---damn, I always want the sparky details of her arrangements too---oh well, it's self-produced, no Boomer Wizards behind the throne, so maybe.

dow, Wednesday, 20 April 2022 00:33 (one year ago) link

It's good. I'll have more to say at the end of the week.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 20 April 2022 00:35 (one year ago) link

Cool, thanks! Was gonna add(And her vocals are always prominent enough, seems like, so crucial need to go lean cuisine.)

dow, Wednesday, 20 April 2022 00:37 (one year ago) link

The two tracks she's released so far (both originals?) sounded like traditional "old school" productions - blues-rock and R&B that sticks to the basics without too much polishing or tampering. For all I know, they could've been rehearsed then recorded them in one take. I know there's a Toots cover in there too, and I liked her version of "True Love Is Hard To Find."

Looking forward to her tour - last time I saw her was in 2017 at Lincoln Center's annual outdoor summer shows, and in retrospect it was kind of re-assuring to have her up there telling everyone "Don't worry, we can get through this!"

In contrast, the previous year had Patti Smith right after the RNC and she excoriated the GOP for their shameful rhetoric - she threw it back at them when she grabbed her electric guitar and yelled "EXECUTE THIS MOTHERFUCKER!" (since the RNC had chanted "execute Hillary") and unleashed a torrent of brutal feedback.

For whatever reason, I always thought of Raitt and Smith as the grandmothers everyone should have. Like if there's ever a Disney coming-of-age story in need of some stunt casting, I'd have both of them play the grandmothers the main character visits for life guidance.

birdistheword, Wednesday, 20 April 2022 01:21 (one year ago) link

"Made Up Mind" is an NRBQ cover irrc

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 20 April 2022 09:46 (one year ago) link

Never knew this, but for "Cream" Prince apparently mixed in samples of Bonnie Raitt playing slide guitar. Raitt mentioned this while talking about her aborted collaboration with Prince and how he asked her to teach him how to play slide guitar.

birdistheword, Friday, 22 April 2022 23:55 (one year ago) link

Wow, never heard of that! Well, come to think of it, he did work with Mavis Staples: she was a Paisley Park artist, even. Wonder what the problem was with Raitt? Maybe he was too weird for her, compared to Froom, Was, and so on.

dow, Saturday, 23 April 2022 02:13 (one year ago) link

In the recent Questlove and Maron interviews, she said she was pretty hype to work with Prince but, at the same time, wasn't keen about her album sounding overtly Princey, so once they agreed to work together he ditched her for a European tour (the Sign O The Times tour) after she had canceled her own tour. She still sounds a little salty about it.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Saturday, 23 April 2022 02:29 (one year ago) link

As well she might!

dow, Saturday, 23 April 2022 03:08 (one year ago) link

The beginning of the pre-chorus of "The Longing in Their Heart" where all of the lead instruments drop out except that rad mandolin part and vocals, that's on my list of all-time favorite musical moments.

Never knew this, but for "Cream" Prince apparently mixed in samples of Bonnie Raitt playing slide guitar. Raitt mentioned this while talking about her aborted collaboration with Prince and how he asked her to teach him how to play slide guitar.

― birdistheword, Friday, April 22, 2022 6:55 PM (yesterday)

I wondered why "Cream" sounded like it could be a parallel-universe re-interpretation of "Something to Talk About"; all while the backup vocals on "STTA" sound heavily influenced by the chorus harmonies in "Take Me With U" and "I Wanna Be Your Lover". And then the chord progressions on the choruses of "Cream" and "STTA" conclude similarly. Yet both songs were released within a similar timeframe - as if Bonnie and The Purple One were telepathically communicating via the ouroboros of shared influence.

Front-loaded albums are musical gerrymandering (Prefecture), Saturday, 23 April 2022 16:01 (one year ago) link

let's give'em something to talk about!

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 26 April 2022 17:34 (one year ago) link

Acid wash covers - they're gonna come back, just like the jeans!

birdistheword, Tuesday, 26 April 2022 17:58 (one year ago) link

That reminds me of the European cover of White Light/White Heat:

Halfway there but for you, Tuesday, 26 April 2022 21:15 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

Just saw her show at the Beacon. Her singing hasn’t diminished at all - if anything it’s as great as ever, and while the whole show was good (the new material went over well) there were three highlights that towered over the rest: “Nick of Time” (her phrasing was amazing), “Have a Heart” where her phrasing was at times remarkably sexy as if rewriting the song to suggest what the recipient was going to miss (I know she’s much older but that voice can’t be denied), and “Angel from Montgomery” which was incredibly powerful. She has apparently sung it at literally every concert she’s done, and the last time in NYC was with Prine at his Songwriters HoF induction. It’s really astonishing she can sing it so frequently and knock it out of the park every time like it’s never lost any meaning for her, and this time there was even more weight to it, possibly due to Prine being gone.

Lucinda Williams opened. Still on the road to recovery - just singing, no guitar from her yet - but she sung really well, close to if not right on 100%, and her band was fantastic.

birdistheword, Thursday, 23 June 2022 05:59 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

When Bonnie Raitt & Her Band Had No Chill On SNL

— SNL Hosts Introducing the Musical Guest (@snlhostsintro) August 18, 2022

five months pass...

just a btw in very with-it NPR newsletter:

(Meanwhile, the Grammy for song of the year — which honors songwriters specifically — was more or less a total surprise: It went to Bonnie Raitt for her song "Just Like That.")

The album was immediately striking, but I already knew I'd have to listen again before trying to say anything adequate, so more later maybe---

dow, Monday, 6 February 2023 20:55 (ten months ago) link

Xgau was a fan - gave it an A- and put it at #39 on the "Dean's List."

birdistheword, Monday, 6 February 2023 21:29 (ten months ago) link

I reviewed it, made my top 40.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 6 February 2023 21:38 (ten months ago) link

Legendary, nigh-universally beloved songwriter in still legendary and beloved shockah.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 6 February 2023 22:07 (ten months ago) link

Her first Grammy (or other award?) for songwriting though---right-?

dow, Monday, 6 February 2023 22:12 (ten months ago) link

She's def. quality over quantity in that dept.

dow, Monday, 6 February 2023 22:13 (ten months ago) link

Yep - I think her first nomination for songwriting. (I was surprised she didn't get one for "Nick of Time" given how well the album did.)

birdistheword, Monday, 6 February 2023 22:41 (ten months ago) link

the album's best written jam

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 6 February 2023 22:53 (ten months ago) link

Hold the phone! Her *other* Grammy wins last night: there were three in all:

American singer Bonnie Raitt took home three Grammy Awards this weekend, including one for a cover she did of a Manitoba band’s song.

On Sunday, Raitt won the Grammy for Best Americana Performance for “Made Up Mind,” a cover of The Bros. Landreth’s song from their 2012 album called “Let It Lie." ...Raitt also won the 2023 Grammys for Song of the Year and Best American Roots Song for “Just Like That.”

Although the picture in this article just has her holding two. All she could handle? Grammys trying to economize? "Hey, it's the same song."
Have seen elsewhere that Swifties are allegedly furious, also headlines re unknown blueswoman causes upset etc.

dow, Tuesday, 7 February 2023 03:23 (ten months ago) link

it's cool that this unknown blues singer has her own thread

budo jeru, Tuesday, 7 February 2023 06:17 (ten months ago) link

I did not know what Wiki sez:

As of 2023, Raitt has received thirteen competitive Grammy Awards, as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.[2]

dow, Wednesday, 8 February 2023 03:20 (ten months ago) link

ehhh, think that's actually 14 competitive---read your own lists, Wiki-- oh-ok, one of those is MusiCares Person of the Year, which

is an award presented annually by MusiCares, the charity arm of The Recording Academy, the same organization that distributes the Grammy Awards, to commend musicians for their artistic achievement in the music industry and dedication to philanthropy.[1][2]
---plus a bunch of awards from other sources, blah-blah:,Greatest%20Guitarists%20of%20All%20Time%22..

dow, Wednesday, 8 February 2023 03:32 (ten months ago) link

I recently heard 'Thank You' from the first album in a cafe and I love it!

I incorrectly thought she was something to do with motorbikes

saer, Wednesday, 8 February 2023 07:30 (ten months ago) link

great song

corrs unplugged, Wednesday, 8 February 2023 09:42 (ten months ago) link

three months pass...

Before this ol' house computer stalls up again, I better state my theme as quickly as possible, maybe come back to it later:
The theme seems to be replenishment, seeking and by cracky finding, in some forms of what may well be or emphatically is temporary relief, but via the schooling impact of age, of impressions that she gets, ouch-y, as Alfred's review references at the kick-off.
The more inspirational sense of replenishment---the harder kind to find, because so easily confused with greeting card verse etc.---is exemplified by the title track, given a speculative ellipsis when adapted as album title: you can read between the dots if you like, rather than hold a candy cane exclamation mark or auto-inferred period: this last associated (via repeated listenings) to the closure-as-relief-as-replenishment of "Made Up Mind," her other Grammy winner--ah, the peace and quiet, anyway quiet, that will surely come after the sound of a slamming door, as the moonlight shines like gravy on the done deal.
And it ain't necessarily that nobody's home---this may be the same house, with little bits of scrappy keepsakes, landmarks to take us through the rooms and down the hall, to where we say good night, in that familiar way---"eeriely restful," as Pauline Kael once remarked in passing of The Twilight Zone, back in the first years when it was on---ahhh, sleep, don't knock it.
But there's a fallacy being courted, even slo-mo stripp-mined there in the made-up bed-mind, as pointed out in passing by the truth-vampire's enclosed system of perpetual motion replenishment, "Waitin' For Her To Blow": yeahhh, stress-test her road, build her up, break her down, get her to do it to herself, and start all over again. At first I thought of this as a music-biz thing, narrated by her Svengali drill sarge, but I can't say I've ever known of her being associated with anyone like this; she's always seemed self-driven, in good and bad ways (ex-hub and others have remarked on her temper of younger years), and here whatever devil's in her head expresses itself mostly impishly, in co-writing with her male guitarist, and as sung and played, with combo at its best here.
(Should also mention that the Original Steely-worthy arrangements and executions of this alb overall are crucially recalibrated, esp.the speculative spotlights-streetlights of keys. which could be too beguiling, by otm acoustic solo acoustic features, just enough of them, and more often by the well-timed, astringent, expertly probing finger ov slide.)
The brute force of "Waitin'" (one of those songs that I finally realize was always waiting to be written about, while experienced by so many people) is tapped in the one about rousing oneself (may be, at least in some instances, part of the breakdown-buildup in "Waitin'") to be "livin' for the ones that didn't make it," to the extent of looking at what their grandchildren are doing, and "Let it break you": which here sounds like Yeaaahhhhh Let It Rock
(This is the only one that sounds a little stiff too me, although it's great stuff, and certainly a time-honored Stones ritual that maybe only Boomers can get through credibly, or would bother attempting, which is also in part about stiffs, is appropriately or or understandably a mite stiff; I can live with that.
Alfred hears the Toots cover as lacking in skank, but to me the bluesly, muscular pushback, the striving of the sound goes with that of the words, of the obsessive, country-as-blues vision of oroving oneself as love-worthy, proving it past the ostensible love-object, to oneself---and these things can still feel so good when you get back into them again, like the one that's just about all the signs of slipping back toward that funny little thing called love
(Though of course there's also slipping back into that closure thing, the blame game, with more moonlight even, and her solution is to turn it around, or resolve too, while sounding like she knows this won't be more than another move(so: more country appeal!)
I haven't kept up with her albums very well since the 70s, but this set deepens and ages her vintage approach, keeping it potent, hitting harder than ever in some ways, with her classic method of blending x juxtaposing songs from different angles and writers.

dow, Monday, 15 May 2023 18:23 (six months ago) link

Slipstream also gave me the vintage BR buzz, though I didn't listen as much as I have to this, should also give the initially "disappointing" Dig In Deep more spins.

dow, Monday, 15 May 2023 18:43 (six months ago) link

six months pass...

I should have mentioned that her flair on this alb with themes of age, time, mortality---so often such an Ageing Rocker Looks At Life ponderosity, to varying degrees, musically and in doorstop memoirs---first showed in the way she took up "Angel From Montgomery" when Prine released it, I think: a rare theme back when the Average American was approx 23.6 years old; there was that one, and "Hello In There," and uh, "Tears of Rage"? "She's Leaving Home"? Not really the same thing, but about as close as empathy got back then. And, as bird says upthread, she's knocked it out of the park ever since, or often enough: Forever Old! But you can't make a whole album this good about age time etc. without living it, as Alfred indicated at the beginning of his Pitchfork review, and that's not enough, of course: she's got the songs, maybe most of which were written by much younger people--but who feels it knows it, at least some of the time, and she knew when.
Give It Up was also a time-peak, looking back at what she'd learned and aimed for in the 60s, was looking toward in the 70s and beyond, in a moment of sustained balance---wise as a young woman's album and statement could be, limited by that, in a fine way, and antipodal to this album---if you gotta live that long, this is the way to do it.

And now here's a live set Alright at Midnight, from 1976: seems like a good soundboard(?)bootleg, with no info nowhere (except that it's on the Pipe Dream label), and for openers we join "Sweet Home Kokomo" already in progress, but good slide appetizer, and all other tracks seem complete. She follows a totally earned ("Righteous," we said back then)"Love Me Like A Man" with a totally earned as in guilty af "Run Like A Thief," also we get a very tense "My First Night With You," the xpost "Thank You," Bicentennial funk interjections, flashlights of electric piano (didn't catch the name but she says "He
s been playing with Van Morrison), Freebo's bass and tuba, conga ration, a couple of simplified arrangements ("Give It Up Or Let Me Go, "Under The Falling Sky") which totally work---plenty but not too much guitar from Raitt and Will McFarlane, also one of my fave vocals here (even before she hits those high notes) is on A. Toussaint's' "What Do You Want The Boy To Do"---it's 1976, these are the songs she's got!
Boot prob yes, so get it while you can:


dow, Thursday, 16 November 2023 02:48 (three weeks ago) link

In case it's gone by the time you see this, release date is 2022, and here's setlist:

Sweet Home Kokomo (Live 1976)
Bonnie Raitt

Love Me Like A Man (Live 1976)
Bonnie Raitt

Run Like A Thief (Live 1976)
Bonnie Raitt

Thank You (Live 1976)
Bonnie Raitt

Give It Up Or Let Me Go (Live 1976)
Bonnie Raitt

Band Introductions (Live 1976)
Bonnie Raitt

Sugar Mama (Live 1976)
Bonnie Raitt

Good Enough (Live 1976)
Bonnie Raitt

Walk Out The Front Door (Live 1976)
Bonnie Raitt

My First Night Alone With You (Live 1976)
Bonnie Raitt

What Do You Want The Boy To Do? (Live 1976)
Bonnie Raitt

Under The Falling Sky (Live 1976)
Bonnie Raitt

dow, Thursday, 16 November 2023 02:58 (three weeks ago) link

Bonnie Raitt
Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA
1976-05-24 (see notes)

01 //Sweet Home Kokomo
02 Love Me Like A Man
03 Run Like A Thief
04 Thank You
05 Give It Up Or Let Me Go*
06 Sugar Mama
07 Good Enough
08 Walk Out The Front Door
09 My First Night Alone Without You
10 What Do You Want The Boy To Do?
-- Encore
11 Under the Falling Sky
* w/ Freebo on Tuba

The Band:
Jeff Labis - Piano
Will McFarland - Guitar
Dennis Wooded - Drums
Freebo - Bass & Tuba
Begining track 7:
Peter Bonnetta
Roosevelt Sikes

Source: FM > LP(?) > unknown > DAT
Transfer: DAT>Tascam DA-20mkII > coax > Delta Dio 2496 > Wavelab 4.0a (@ 24/48)
Mastering: Wavelab 4.0a > X-Noise (23.1 dB threshold & 85% reduction) + Waves L1-Ultramaximzer (-1 dB left channel + 4 dB threshold increase) > conversion to 16/44.1 > WAV > FLAC
Track 1 begins muddy and indistinct, but improves quickly.
Original uploader's notes:

Broadcast on KSAN. This recording came to me dated "??-??-73." It contains songs that appear on the 1975 album Home Plate and the band here also played on 1977's Sweet Forgiveness, so 1973 is almost certainly wrong.

There are several hints about the correct date. Bonnie Raitt says that Taj Mahal is played at the Boarding House (also in San Francisco) that night and that Chris Smither played at the same venue, which is "my favorite club," about one year ago in February. Unfortunately, neither of those hints has helped me to find a definative date. Bonnie Raitt also says that "We just got off the road, we've been on the road since March 15, and, uh, went to England, had a [great?] time . . . and then spent the last 10 days w/ Little Feat, down through the Southeast . . . ." Finally, at the end of track 9, Bonnie Raitt mentions that there are other fans waiting outside to get into the venue, which suggests that this is an early show and that there was a second performance that night.

According to the liner notes on a Bonnie Raitt bootleg called "Collections" owned by a collector in Europe, this was recorded on 05.24.76 at the Great American Music Hall and broadcast on 05.26.76, (That bootleg contains two songs that are missing from this source: Women Be Wise and You Got To Know How.) So, that's how I've dated this performance. If anyone knows for sure, please let the world know, too.

Mastering Notes:

The original DAT was quite noisy, though not really hissy like an analog tape. There are, here and there, tiny pops and ticks that sound very much like an LP playback, including a few rough boundaries where the recording tape started and stopped. There is also some distortion in the right channel at certain frequencies (check out the piano at the begining of My First Night Without You). None of this is very serious compared to the overall quality of the recording.

I believe that this is an LP > DAT or something similar, and the background noise is a line noise added by the stereo equipment. Whatever it was, I removed it using the X-noise plugin, which required relatively a lot of reduction (23.1 dB threshold, 85% reduction). As for pops and ticks, none of them are loud and you won't notice them unless you're listening to the spaces between songs.

Thus Sang Freud, Thursday, 16 November 2023 11:00 (three weeks ago) link

(the "me" in the above is not me.)

Thus Sang Freud, Thursday, 16 November 2023 11:01 (three weeks ago) link

KSAN seems to hold on to a lot of pre-broadcast masters so that may exist somewhere. (IIRC a lot of them leaked out some years ago, mostly dating from 1977.)

Here's a great show from a year later - pre-FM master source, though it's missing the opening number.

birdistheword, Friday, 17 November 2023 02:08 (three weeks ago) link

Thanks TSF, somehow I heard "Labis" and "Wooded" but my brain refused to trust my ears or vice-versa, because they weren't familiar and maybe "lacked" more common syllables or other parts, also didn't hear "Peter Bonnetta" at all (?), but knew about those other guys(used to have quite a nice early 70s LP by Roosevelt Sykes). Thanks bird, will try to nose around that site for link again later; a basketball video just now kept following me around on there (Web Sheriff in disguise?)

dow, Friday, 17 November 2023 03:37 (three weeks ago) link

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