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Bonnie Raitt at DTE, 5 Things To Know
More than 45 years into her recording career, Bonnie Raitt has every reason to be digging in deep.
The multi-faceted music veteran has 17 albums and 10 Grammy Awards to her credit, and he‚Äôs routinely featured on lists of greatest singers and guitar players. Raitt -- the daughter of theater star John Raitt -- is no slouch as a songwriter either, and she‚Äôs also an ace interpreter of songs by others.
This summer finds Raitt on a ‚Äúvictory lap‚ÄĚ of sorts for her latest album, 2016‚Äôs ‚ÄúDig In Deep,‚ÄĚ which it debuted at No. 11 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the Americana, Blues and Folk charts. It‚Äôs has also afforded her a chance to tour with longtime friend James Taylor, even joining him on stage for a song each night. And she‚Äôs planning to start digging in again as this cycle nears its end...
‚ÄĘ Raitt, 67, says she and Taylor are ‚Äúhaving such a great time‚ÄĚ on their summer tour dates -- which comes as no surprise, of course. ‚ÄúThe two bands love each other, and James and I have known each other since I was 20 and he was not much older and I opened for him at Harvard University,‚ÄĚ Raitt says by phone from her home in northern California. ‚ÄúAnd of course we‚Äôve worked together on a lot of different environmental shows. I don‚Äôt get to see him that much -- at the Grammys, and occasionally we‚Äôll run into each other at benefits. This is the first time we‚Äôve toured together, so it‚Äôs been really warm, and the audiences have been incredible. To hear that many people hushed quiet on the ballads is really an extraordinary thing for me.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĘ After more than 17 months of supporting ‚ÄúDig In Deep‚ÄĚ and playing its songs, Raitt says the album -- which she co-produced with Rochester Adams alumnus Joe Henry -- continues to grow and modify through that exercise. ‚ÄúThe band being the same one I record with, it really makes the songs fresh every night even though it‚Äôs the same guys,‚ÄĚ Raitt explains. ‚ÄúI love the way the songs are morphing a little bit. And now we do some different older songs and that kind of makes it fun for me to watch how the new songs fit with them and the different ways we play it, and they stretch out. When you find the right guys and the right song, it‚Äôs just a gift that keeps on unfolding.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĘ One eyebrow-raising selection on ‚ÄúDig In Deep‚ÄĚ is a version of INXS‚Äô ‚ÄúNeed You Tonight,‚ÄĚ which Raitt has given a bluesier flavor showcasing her slide guitar playing. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs just me being a music fan,‚ÄĚ she says. ‚ÄúEver since INXS came out I‚Äôve just been crazy for them. I mostly know their singles, like everyone else, but I had such great respect for them. And ‚ÄėNeed You Tonight‚Äô really hit me as something that would be killer on slide guitar. It‚Äôs a very sexy song.‚ÄĚ Raitt has received a note of thanks from the song‚Äôs writer, Andrew Farriss, who also came to see her perform it in Nashville.
‚ÄĘ An avid political and social activist, Raitt is, like money, upset with the current presidential administration and what she considers a regressive agenda. ‚ÄúEvery day is a challenge,‚ÄĚ Raitt says. ‚ÄúWe just have to try to stay in the positive solutions and to try be active and promote what I can to make a change happen and, as much as I can, support the people who are working on the ground and standup for what we think is right and not put our head in the sand. But I really have to parse how much of the time I expose myself to the news cycle and reading to many articles and things. There‚Äôs so much that‚Äôs just upsetting; I would end up pulling my covers over my head if I looked at it all. I have to figure out what times of the day I‚Äôm strong enough to take it but not look away too much, either.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĘ Raitt is starting to think loosely about what she‚Äôll do next, including writing some songs and finding more material she likes from others. ‚ÄúHopefully I‚Äôll get a break,‚ÄĚ she says. ‚ÄúY‚Äôknow, I don‚Äôt even plan anything, whether it‚Äôs my music or outside guest appearances or causes that I care about. So I‚Äôm never really off, but I‚Äôm hoping after this tour I‚Äôll be able to travel for fun or stay home for fun, and then I‚Äôll think about what I‚Äôm going to do next when I feel ready. I‚Äôm not going to be in a big hurry.‚ÄĚ
If You Go:
‚ÄĘ James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt
‚ÄĘ 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8.
‚ÄĘ DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township.
‚ÄĘ Tickets are $45-$130.50 pavilion, $26 lawn.
‚ÄĘ Call 248-377-0100 or visit palacenet.com.
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