Bonnie Raitt Dig in Deep
Submitted by Cashbox Canada/ Sandy Graham
Following the highly-anticipated release of her twentieth album, “Dig In Deep”, Bonnie Raitt will kick off her 2016 North American Tour, returning to major cities where she's long been recognized as one of contemporary music's great live performers. The tour comes to the Sony Centre in Toronto on March 15, 2016. The pre-sale Ticket sales on Bonnie's site include Special Benefit Seats and packages to pre-order Dig In Deep CDs and LPs and to purchase an exclusive merchandise item.
Bonnie's “Dig In Deep” Tour will feature her longtime touring band, which backs her on the forthcoming album, including James "Hutch" Hutchinson (bass), Ricky Fataar (drums), and George Marinelli (guitar), along with Mike Finnigan (keyboards), who joined the line-up for the triumphant 2012-2013 Slipstream tour.
"So much of the album is focused on what I want to do live," Bonnie says, "I write and pick these songs so we can nail them on stage."
Since the release of 2012's GRAMMY Award-winning album Slipstream, Bonnie has performed over 200 shows in the U.S. and abroad, including a sold-out concert at Boston's Fenway Park with James Taylor this past summer. Her powerful chemistry with this band creates a magic that has been described as "exquisite" (Chicago Tribune) and "perfect" (Boston Globe).
Opening for Bonnie on the tour will be The California Honeydrops, a five-piece ensemble led by dynamic vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Lech Wierzynski. Known for its engaging live show and diverse musical influences, the group incorporates Bay Area R&B, funk, Southern soul, Delta blues, New Orleans second-line, gospel, and psychedelic groove into its sound.
Continuing a long-standing tradition in conjunction with the Guacamole Fund, Bonnie will donate one dollar from every ticket purchased to grassroots local, regional, and national organizations whose work focuses on safe and sustainable energy, social justice and human rights, environmental protection, and blues/music education.
With the release of her new CD it is clear that Bonnie Raitt has once again come out with an offering of great songs and a well crafted offering to her fans. (CD Review next week in Cashbox Canada).
During the 1970s, Raitt released a series of roots-influenced albums which incorporated elements of blues, rock, folk and country. In 1989 after several years of critical acclaim but little commercial success she had a major return to public prominence with the release of her album Nick of Time. The following two albums Luck of the Draw (1991) and Longing in Their Hearts (1994) were also multi-million sellers generating several hit singles, including "Something to Talk About", "Love Sneakin' Up on You" and the ballad "I Can't Make You Love Me" (with Bruce Hornsby on piano). Raitt has received 10 Grammy Awards. She is listed as number 50 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and number 89 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.
Raitt was born in Burbank, California. She is the daughter of Broadway musical star John Raitt and his first wife, pianist Marjorie Haydock, and was raised in the Quaker tradition. She began playing guitar at an early age. Later she gained notice for her bottleneck-style guitar playing. Raitt says she played "a little at school and at [a summer] camp" called Camp Regis-Applejack in New York.
In the fall of 1970, while opening for Mississippi Fred McDowell at the Gaslight Cafe in New York, she was seen by a reporter from Newsweek Magazine, who began to spread word of her performance. Scouts from major record companies were soon attending her shows to watch her play. She eventually accepted an offer with Warner Bros. who soon released her debut album, Bonnie Raitt, in 1971. The album was warmly received by the music press, many of whom praised her skills as an interpreter and as a bottleneck guitarist; at the time, very few women in popular music had strong reputations as guitarists.
While admired by those who saw her perform, and respected by her peers, Raitt gained little public acclaim for her work. Her critical stature continued to grow but record sales remained modest. Her second album, Give It Up, was released in 1972 to universal acclaim; though many critics still regard it as her best work, it did not change her commercial fortunes. 1973's Takin' My Time was also met with critical acclaim, but these notices were not matched by the sales.
Raitt was beginning to receive greater press coverage, including a 1975 cover story for Rolling Stone Magazine, but with1974's Streetlights, reviews for her work were becoming increasingly mixed. By now, Raitt was already experimenting with different producers and different styles, and she began to adopt a more mainstream sound that continued through 1975's Home Plate.
1977's Sweet Forgiveness album gave Raitt her first commercial breakthrough when it yielded a hit single in her cover of "Runaway." Recast as a heavy rhythm and blues recording based on a rhythmic groove inspired by Al Green, Raitt's version of "Runaway" was disparaged by many critics. However, the song's commercial success prompted a bidding war for Raitt between Warner Bros. and Columbia Records.
"There was this big Columbia–Warner war going on at the time", recalled Raitt, "James Taylor had just left Warner Bros. and made a big album for Columbia...And then, Warner signed Paul Simon away from Columbia, and they didn't want me to have a hit record for Columbia – no matter what! So, I renegotiated my contract, and they basically matched Columbia's offer. Frankly the deal was a really big deal.”
Warner Brothers held higher expectations for Raitt's next album, The Glow, in 1979, but it was released to poor reviews as well as modest sales. Raitt would have one commercial success in 1979 when she helped organize the five Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE) concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The shows spawned the three-record gold album No Nukes, as well as a Warner Brothers feature film of the same name. The shows featured co-founders Jackson Browne, Graham Nash, John Hall, and Raitt as well as Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the Doobie Brothers, Carly Simon, James Taylor, Gil Scott-Heron, and numerous others.
For her next record, 1982's Green Light, Raitt made a conscious attempt to revisit the sound of her earlier records. However, to her surprise, many of her peers and the media compared her new sound to the burgeoning new wave movement. The album received her strongest reviews in years, but her sales did not improve and this would have a severe impact on her relationship.
In 1983, as Raitt was finishing work on her follow-up album, entitled Tongue & Groove, Warner Brothers "cleaned house", dropping a number of major artists such as Van Morrison and Arlo Guthrie from their roster. The day after mastering was completed on Tongue & Groove, the record label dropped Raitt also. The album was shelved indefinitely, and Raitt was left without a record label.
Two years after dropping her from their label, Warner Brothers notified Raitt of their plans to release Tongue & Groove. "I said it wasn't really fair," recalled Raitt. "I think at this point they felt kind of bad. I mean, I was out there touring on my savings to keep my name up, and my ability to draw was less and less. So they agreed to let me go in and re-cut half of it, and that's when it came out as Nine Lives." A critical and commercial disappointment, 1986's Nine Lives would be Raitt's last new recording for Warner Brothers.
In late 1987, Raitt joined singers k.d. lang and Jennifer Warnes as female background vocalists for Roy Orbison's television special, Roy Orbison and Friends, A Black and White Night. Following this highly acclaimed broadcast, Raitt began working on new material. By then, she was clean and sober, having resolved her substance abuse problem. She later credited Stevie Ray Vaughan for his help in a Minnesota State Fair concert the night after Vaughan's 1990 death. During this time, Raitt considered signing with the Prince-owned Paisley Park label, but negotiations ultimately fell through. Instead she began recording a bluesy mix of pop and rock under the production guidance of Don Was at Capitol Records.
Raitt had met Was through Hal Wilner, who was putting together Stay Awake, a tribute album to Disney music for A&M. Was and Wilner both wanted Raitt to sing lead on an adult-contemporary arrangement created by Was for "Baby Mine", the lullaby from Dumbo. Raitt was very pleased with the sessions, and she asked was to produce her next album.
After working with Was on the "Stay Awake" album, Raitt's management, Gold Mountain, approached numerous labels about a new record deal, and she was signed to Capitol by A&R executive Tim Devine. At Capitol, after nearly 20 years, Raitt achieved belated commercial success with her tenth album, Nick of Time. Released in the spring of 1989, Nick of Time went to the top of the U.S. charts following Raitt's Grammy sweep in early 1990. This album has been voted number 230 in the Rolling Stone magazine list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Raitt herself pointed out that her 10th try was "my first sober album.
At the same time, Raitt received a fourth Grammy Award for her duet "In the Mood" with John Lee Hooker on his album The Healer. Nick of Time was also the first of many of her recordings to feature her longtime rhythm section of Ricky Fataar and James "Hutch" Hutchinson (Although previously Fataar had played on her Green Light album and Hutchinson had worked on Nine Lives). Nick of Time has sold over six million copies in the US alone.
Raitt followed up this success with three more Grammy Awards for her 1991 album Luck of the Draw which sold nearly 8 million copies in the United States. Three years later, in 1994, she added two more Grammys with her album Longing in Their Hearts, her second no. 1 album. Both of these albums were multi-platinum successes. Raitt's collaboration with Was would amicably come to an end with 1995's live release, Road Tested. Released to solid reviews, it sold well enough to be certified gold.
"Rock Steady" was a hit written by Bryan Adams and Gretchen Peters in 1995. The song was written as a duet with Bryan Adams and Bonnie Raitt for her Road Tested tour, which also became one of her albums. The original demo version of the song appears on Adams' 1996 single "Let's Make a Night to Remember".
For her next studio album, Raitt hired Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake as her producers. "I loved working with Don Wasbut I wanted to give myself and my fans a stretch and do something different," Raitt said. Her work with Froom and Blake was released on Fundamental in 1998.
The following years there were various releases; Silver Lining was released in 2002, 2003 the compilation album The Best of Bonnie Raitt, 2005 was Souls Alike, 2006 was the release of live DVD/CD Bonnie Raitt and Friends. In April 2011, the Bonnie Raitt and Friends DVD officially became RIAA certified gold. In April 2012, Raitt released her first studio album since 2005, entitled Slipstream. It charted at Number 6 on the US Billboard 200 chart marking her first top ten album since 1994's Longing in Their Hearts. The album was described as "one of the best of her 40-year career" by American Songwriter magazine.
Raitt used alcohol and drugs, but began psychotherapy and joined Alcoholics Anonymous in the late 1980s. She has said "I thought I had to live that partying lifestyle in order to be authentic, but in fact if you keep it up too long, all you're going to be is sloppy or dead." She became clean in 1987. She has credited Stevie Ray Vaughan for breaking her substance abuse, saying that what gave her the courage to admit her alcohol problem and stop drinking was seeing that Stevie Ray Vaughan was an even better musician when sober. She has also said that she stopped because she realized that the "late night life" was not working for her. In 1989 she said "I really feel like some angels have been carrying me around. I just have more focus and more discipline, and consequently more self-respect."
In 1994 at the urging of writer Dick Waterman, Raitt funded the replacement of a headstone for one of her mentors, blues guitarist Fred McDowell through the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund. Raitt later financed memorial headstones in Mississippi for musicians Memphis Minnie, Sam Chatmon, and Tommy Johnson again with the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund.
In March 2000, Raitt was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland,Ohio.
Raitt is listed at Number 50 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. She is also listed at number 89 in the Rolling Stone list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Raitt's principal touring guitar is a customized Fender Stratocaster which became the basis for a signature model in 1996.
’My brown Strat now that the body is a ’65 and the neck is from some time after that. It’s kind of a hybrid that I got for $120 at 3 am in 1969. It’s the one without the paint and I’ve used it for every gig I do since 1969.”
See Bonnie Raitt and her Strat at her only Canadian date in Toronto at the Sony Centre.
Bonnie Raitt 2016 Tour Dates:
March 12 - Albany, NY - Palace
March 13 - Rochester NY - Eastman Theatre
March 15 - Toronto, ON - Sony Centre
March 16 - Detroit, MI - Opera House
March 18 - St Louis, MO - Peabody Opera House
March 19 - Louisville, KY - Palace
March 22 - Chicago, IL - Chicago Theatre
March 23 - Pittsburgh, PA - Heinz Hall
March 25 - Philadelphia, PA - Verizon Hall
March 26 - Washington DC - Kennedy Center
March 29 - Boston, MA - Orpheum Theatre
April 1 - New York, NY - Beacon Theatre
April 2 - New York, NY - Beacon Theatre
April 17 - Portland, OR - Keller Auditorium
April 20 - Seattle, WA - Paramount Theatre
April 22 - Reno, NV - Grand Sierra Resort
April 23 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theater
April 26 - Dallas TX - Winspear Opera House
April 27 - Austin TX - Moody Theater
April 29 - Houston TX - Bayou Theater (Revention Music Center)
May 3 - Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium
May 4 - Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium
For More Information visit www.bonnieraitt.com