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April 11, 2012 / jhsaeger

Tuesday’s Buzz: Bonnie Raitt Returns In Marvelous Slipstream

     Icons become icons for certain reasons, but for many people certain musicians have retained a timeless quality that has carried over across generations. Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Patti Smith, and Elvis Costello come to mind as the leading figures of the era, but Bonnie Raitt is another who has managed to retain relevance over an ever-changing musical spectrum and continues to release a high quality of music. For Bonnie Raitt’s first record in seven years, Slipstream, the 62-year-old constructed a record that perfectly blends her skills as a singer and musician and served notice that she has not lost a thing in the interim.
     In Slipstream, the redhead from Burbank, California sang 12 songs, including some selections from the catalogs of Bob Dylan, Gerry Rafferty, and Loudon Wainwright III for her 16thstudio record. Slipstream began on an uptempo note with “Used to Rule the World,” where Raitt and her band let loose on a handful of brisk guitar solos amidst lyrics with a handful of characters that lost their once lofty places in the world. The record’s second track, “Right Down the Line,” from Rafferty’s 1978 breakthrough record City to City fit in perfectly with the tone of the record, as Raitt’s arrangement combined a Caribbean beat with some prolific slide guitar work. Raitt also glimmered on “Ain’t Gonna Let You Go,” where she sang, “Ain’t it peculiar how love comes about/When you’re not looking you better look out.
     Raitt also logged a pair of Dylan covers, “Million Miles” and “Standing in the Doorway” from 1997’s Time Out of Mind. “Million Miles” was particularly sharp, as a mellow blues just poured from her voice and guitar. The singer’s lone songwriting credit on the record, her first since her 2002 album Silver Lining, came on the jaunty “Down to You.”
    Slipstream is available as a digital download, compact disc, and double-LP vinyl. Bonnie Raitt will begin a North American tour on May 1 in Newkirk, Oklahoma and will wrap up on October 28 in Nashville, Tennessee.
    Other Cool Stuff That Hits This Week: Florence + the Machine: Unplugged, Alabama Shakes (CD): Boys & Girls, Scars on 45: Scars on 45, Joe Jackson: Live at Rockapalast 

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