Spending the week immersed in the blues made this a logical connection as Bonnie is obviously a lover of the genre and so wonderfully influenced by it. She is also a great ambassador and one hell of a slide player.
I am considering this a new listen and release as it came out just over a month ago on April 10, 2012. Hey, until the labels send me stuff early, I sometimes have to play catch up… Although I have wanted to discuss this one for a while as it is so DAMN GOOD!
Bonnie Raitt – Slipstream
While Bonnie never seems to leave one’s consciousness, at least mine, she has not put out an album in way too long. In fact, this one is after a seven-year gap!!! Let me tell you, it is an absolute stunner and runs the gamut from rockin’ blues to insanely gorgeous ballads.
The great, amazingly and criminally underrated Joe Henry is her collaborator here, producing and contributing two songs, including the absolutely beautiful “You Can’t Fail Me Now” he wrote with another of my faves… Loudon Wainwright III.
This song cuts to the quick.
The funky opening track “Used To Rule The World” is such a perfect way to start and just lets you know right off the bat what is what. I love that chunky guitar sound that defines Bonnie so well.
You can so get a witness. AMEN!
You also have to love her homage to Gerry Rafferty and the great cover of “Right Down The Line.” She simply owns it.
Rolling Stone says: “Bonnie Raitt is such a class act it’s easy to forget she’s kind of a badass: Harvard African Studies major-turned-world-class-blueswoman, slide-guitar master, platinum pop star and a singer-songwriter with interpretive skills so sharp she once turned “Baby Mine,” the maternal lullaby from Dumbo, into a seduction. Slipstream, her first album in seven years and the first she has self-released, is a loose and adventurous reminder of everything she does well.”
AllMusic adds: “Slipstream provides ample proof of just how much fans have missed Bonnie Raitt since 2005’s Souls Alike… Raitt’s voice has never sounded better. She’s expanded her lower range with an expressiveness that is soulful, rich, and rings emotionally true — though she’s sacrificed none of her higher register. Her voice can command and reveal a devastating tenderness… Slipstream reveals Raitt at another creative peak.”
The only thing that surprises me is that there is only one Raitt original. The album features two Dylan covers… two Henry tunes, including the solemn and lovely closer “God Only Knows”, a whole lot of Randall and Bonnie Bramblett and Al Anderson (nothing but a good thing) and one song written by the astounding Paul Brady (he also sings back up) along with Bonnie’s ex-husband, the actor Michael O’Keefe, who was genuinely honored that she included this one.
This album will not be as big as Luck Of The Draw or Nick Of Time in terms of numbers… the business model does not seem to allow that for an independent release these days… but it follows a similar formula and is right up there… and easily one of her best records ever!
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back Ms. Bonnie Raitt!