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Representing The Bay
Best Seen with "Explorer"
| Bonnie Raitt
The Blues Away"
..Four decades into
her career, Raitt is making some of her most daring music and also some of her
friskiest. Her knee-buckling slide-guitar show on "Gnawin' on It," in
tandem with longtime Hooker producer Roy Rogers, is the stuff that first made
her the toast of the ,folk-blues scene in the early '70s.
.... The sultry- of "No Getting' Over You," in
which Raitt's bottleneck excursions do some dirty dancing with Jon Cleary's
Professor Longhair-flavored piano. Raitt flourishes with the blues and her
band, some of whom have played with her for more than 20 years of consistent
touring, was solid in Funk, folk, Mississippi blues and moments of
.......Touring in support of her 2002 release,
"Silver Lining," Raitt's 16th album, Raitt was in her usual laid-back
mood, laying out sobering remarks to the audience as if she were talking to old
friends. Which she was. Raitt let it be known that she recorded "Silver
Lining" with her road-tested band, something that wasn't necessarily
evident in the recording but made her proud nonetheless. James
"Hutch" Hutchinson - her veteran bassist - and guitarist George
Marinelli packed personality into the live sets and helped make even the new
material sound different from its recorded form.
...... Raitt started her set with "Love
Letter" from 1989's "Nick of Time," the CD that most have
credited with bringing Raitt's career back from the dead. At the Paramount
Theater her color scheme was one of the most striking in recent memory: a loose
Blue shirt played off her rusty hair, all of which was backed up by droning
orange lights that blend. The first song off her new disc, "Fool's
Game," followed with Raitt turning her twang up to a 10. "It feels
good to pack this joint," the eight-time Grammy winner said to the
capacity crowd before embarking on the lyrical journey of "I Can't Help
You Now," another new song that fits so tightly in the Raitt mold that it
seems like one of her older tunes.
.....More known for her ability to compile other
people's material on an album than for her own songwriting capabilities, Raitt
modestly paid due notice to the songwriters responsible for her repertoire,
often thanking them for their contribution. One of the most compelling
collaborations both on disc and in performance is the African gospel version of
"Hear Me Lord." Raitt crossed cultures and took a subtle approach to
the gentle songwriting and the driving beats, and it was one of the more
powerful moments of the concert, getting the entire crowd on its feet and
clapping for the first time.
....The end of her set gave the audience "Something
to Talk About," one of Raitt's most successful commercial draws from
1991's "Luck of the Draw." And her encore brought on the love with
"I Can't Make You Love Me," with Raitt standing solo centerstage .
She used to not sing that song reminding her of sad relationships, but now she
draws the love she feels from her fans.
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