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October 14, 2005 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-10-14

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8- The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 14, 2005 A
Bonnie Raitt lcrfe ihgnTeter

By Andrew Blelak
For the Daily
Legendary country-blues art-
ist Bonnie Raitt has to be one of the
warmest, most likeable performers in
the industry. Complementing her suc-
cessful career with a
lifelong devotion to
various social causes, Bonnie
Raitt has earned the Raitt
admiration of fans Tuesday,
and fellow musicians Oct. 11
alike for her musical Michigan Theater
honesty and activism.
But the reason behind
the 55-year-old sing-
er and guitarist's continued musical
relevance is simple: the woman kicks
ass. Performing in front of a sold-out
crowd at the Michigan Theater on
Tuesday night, Raitt, backed by a five-
piece band, burned through a 90-min-
ute set with the flair and panache of a
performer half her age as well as the
command of a seasoned veteran.
After toiling throughout the '70s
and '80s to critical acclaim but rela-
tive commercial obscurity, Raitt
broke out into mainstream with her
poppy 1989 album Nick of Time and
its successful follow-up, Luck of the
Draw. Having toured for over 30 years
now, Raitt sounds equally confident
covering the acoustic blues of her
early albums and the country-tinged
pop-rock of recent years, drawing up
several tracks from her 2005 release,
Souls Alike.
Raitt and her band opened the night
with a silky new blues number, "On


Country musician Bonnie Raitt performed a sold-out show on Tuesday night at the Michigan Theater.

One Condition," cutting loose her
trademark slide guitar solo over a syn-
copated vamp. Seamlessly initiating a
warm rapport with the audience, Raitt
began her jokes early: "Religion is for
those afraid to go hell ... Spirituality is
for those of us who have already been
there," she mused before launching
into the muddy, bayou-inflected "God
Was in the Water."
Raitt's melodic, liquid guitar solos
stood as concise musical statements
and contrasted well with the flashier,
technical stylings of second guitarist

George Marinelli. Of course, the stron-
gest and most prevalent instrument was
Raitt's voice, a clear and emotive croon
that whispered, soared and cracked ever
so slightly at all the right moments.
After the first half of the set show-
cased various new songs, the second
portion of the show saw the band dip-
ping into older hits, such as "Love
Sneakin' Up On You," "Luck of the
Draw" and "Something to Talk About."
In covering a broad range of mate-
rial, Raitt and her group demonstrated
their versatility as one their greatest

strengths. They comfortably laid down
salty 12-bar blues, sultry R&B ballads
and bouncy country shuffles.
After playing two slow, soulful num-
bers, "I Can't Make You Love Me," and
"I Don't Want Anything to Change,"
the band ended the evening with a final
blast of upbeat country-rock. Exiting
to thunderous applause from a dou-
ble-encore set, Raitt demonstrated on
Tuesday night that even at 55, she has
no intention of slowing down. On the
contrary - she seems to be just get-
ting started.



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