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May 10, 1977 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-05-10

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Tuesday, May -10, 1977


Page Five

Rockin' Raitt razes Hill

JIlE SMELL of hot metal sing-
ed the air in Hill Auditorium.
Screaming fans danced in the
aisles as the whine of high-pow-
ered electric guitars sizzled their
"Rock 'n' roll, roight, roight,"
joked an energetic Bonnie Raitt
with a pseudo-Cockney accent as
the audience roared for more.
"MC-5 couldn't make it tonight,"
she quipped. But it didn't seem
to make much difference to the
crowd as it responded with a
series of standing ovations after
every tightly-welded rocker she
belted out in last Saturday
night's concert.
the realm of straight blues and
folk ballads to that of solid, fun-
ky rock has been completed. It's
not that she's adandoned the
early favorites - tunes by John
Prine, Eric Kaz and Jackson
Browne still appear on her al-
bums and she brought out a few
of them Saturday as a conces-
sion to the quieter half of her
But, despite six fine blues/folk
releases on Warner Brothers,
with some rock mixed in (es-
pecially on the latest LP, Sweet
Forgiveness), this extremely
talented and versatile artist is
still frustrated by the lack of
a hit. So she's exploring new
horizons in the world where the
hits are - rock.
Accordingly, Raitt and her
small but mighty band gave
us a lot of songs like "About
to Make Me Leave Home" and
"Three Time Loser," from the
new release and "Walk Out the
Front Door" from Home Plate.
Even a wistful tune like
Browne's "I Thought I Was a
Child" was turned into a rock-
er with a catchy beat. Dennis
Whitted on drums, Will McFar-
lane on guitar, Marty Greb on
sax and piano and the inimitable
Freebo on bass and tuba never
missed a beat as they followed
Raitt's powerfully winding voice
and mean bottleneck slide
through an hour and a half of
straight play, including five en-
It was interesting that Raitt
chose to feature many works
from Home Plate and neglected
her earlier efforts despite critic-

izing the former as "too slick
for may taste" in an interview
with Guitar Player Magazine
(she's the cover feature of the
May issue, which is uncommon
for a woman). Still, the arrange-
ments were quite different -
strings removed and electricity
There were only two mention-
able faults to her performance:
her voice was very hoarse, and
she didn't sing the title cut from
her new album, a fine Daniel
Moore song which she perform-
ed with great finesse on vinyl
and which was missed by many
in the audience.
problem was a result of spend-
ing Friday night with the Sil-
vertones at the Blind Pig. "The
Silvertones took my silver tones
away," she apologized dryly.
Luckily her throat held out dur-
ing the rockers, but unfortunate-
ly it broke down periodically on
,high notes and slurs. This was
especially noticeable during soft
numbers like '"Nothing Seems
to Matter," one of her own
pieces from the album Give it
Up, and Brown's poignant "My
Opening Farewell," off Sweet
But all was forgiven the lithe,
red-headed singer as she flirted
alternately with the audience,
and the band continually jok-
ing, shaking her tightly-denim-
ed hips and swinging her guitar
to the twangy rhythms. And
more was forgotten when she
and her special guest, Sippie
Wallace, began to sing the blues.
Sippie, an ancient lady who was
one of the first of the great
black woman blues singers back
in the twenties, repeated her
1975 appearance with Bonnie by
showing that she still has that
deep, sliding voice.
As in their last show together,
the two women, who met at the
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Festival, joined for renditions
of "You Got to Know How, <
and "Women Be Wise.' Raitt sP b N
maturing, resilient voice har- Daily Photo by CHRISTINA SCHNEI
See BONNIE'S, Page 10 Raitt & Co.
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