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22.12.08

Bonnie Raitt




Bonnie Raitt - Takin' My Time - 1973 - Warner Brothers

TAKIN' MY TIME falls between Bonnie Raitt's superb second album GIVE IT UP and the more commercially minded yet less artistically successful STREETLIGHTS. Fortunately, TAKIN' MY TIME has more in common with its predecessor; it contains thesame stylistic mixed bag as GIVE IT UP (with the bumps between blues, folk, R&B, and early-'70s soft rock smoothed overbeautifully), and the same intensity and focus in performance. Unlike GIVE IT UP, TAKIN' MY TIME contains no originals,but given the consistently high quality of Raitt's selection and treatment of covers, it hardly matters. (Raitt has an uncanny knack for making covers her own). Raitt looks directly to her influences on a version of the Martha and the Vandellas' R&B classic "You've Been In Love Too Long", which kicks off the album, then looks further back with an acoustic rendition of Mississippi Fred McDowell's "Write Me A Few of Your Lines/Kokomo Blues", proving her grasp of the genre. But the record's highlights encompass more contemporary fare, such as Jackson's Browne's "I Thought I Was A Child", MoseAllison's "Everybody's Cryin' Mercy", and Randy Newman's "Guilty", with a light calypso "Wah She Go Do" balancing out these more plaintive compositions. A stellar cast of musicians, including members of Little Feat, Taj Mahal, and Ernie Watts (who played saxophone for the Rolling Stones) puts TAKIN' MY TIME just behind GIVE IT UP as Raitt's best album. © Amazon.com

Bonnie started her career as a blues player in venues around Philadelphia and Cambridge, opening for great musicians like Howlin' Wolf, Mississippi Fred MeDowell and Sippie Wallace. She was one of the few women im the early seventies to master the bottleneck guitar. Over the years she gradually expanded her musical horizons, and mow sings songs of all musical genres by many different songwriters. She also composes many of her own songs. She is one of contemporary music's most inventive and influential performers. "Takin' My Time" is an outstanding album, which fully exposes the wonderful diverse talents of Bonnie Raitt. Strangely, the album only reached No.87 in the 1973 Billboard charts. In retrospect, it contains some of the best performances of her recording career, featuring songs by Mose Allison, Jackson Browne, Randy Newman and blues legend Fred McDowell. Bonnie is backed by an incredible list of musicians, including Taj Mahal and Lowell George, Bill Payne and Paul Barrere from Little Feat. The songs range from the calypso style of "Wah She Go Do," to the pure blues of the Fred McDowell medley "Write Me A Few Of Your Lines/ Kokemo Blues,". This album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to her classic debut s/t album for WB, which contains songs by Stephen Stills and Paul Seibel. Her 1972 album, "Give It Up " is another outstanding album from one of the great artists of our times.

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

A1.You've Been in Love Too Long (3:40)
(Ivy Hunter/Clarence Paul/William Stevenson)
A2. I Gave My Love A Candle (4:20)
(Joel Zoss)
A3. Let Me In (3:33)
(Yvonne Baker)
A4.Everybody's Cryin' Mercy (3:25)
(Mose Allison)
A5.Cry Like A Rainstorm (3:50)
(Eric Kaz)

B1.Wah She Go Do (3:15)
(McCartha Lewis)
B2.I Feel the Same (4:39)
(Chris Smither)
B3.I Thought I Was A Child (3:44)
(Jackson Browne)
B4.Write Me A Few of Your Lines/Kokomo Blues (4:34)
(Fred McDowell)
B5.Guilty (2:58)
(Randy Newman)

CREDITS

Bonnie Raitt - acoustic guitar, guitar, electric guitar, vocals, background vocals, handclapping, bottleneck guitar
Paul Barrére - guitar, electric guitar
George Bohannon - trombone
Oscar Brashear - flugelhorn, horn
Bud Brisbois - horn
Sam Clayton - conductor, conga
Carol Farhat - handclapping
Glenn Ferris - horn
Freebo - bass, tuba, vocals, background vocals, fretless bass
Lowell George - guitar, slide guitar
John Hall - guitar, electric guitar, background vocals, handclapping, mellotron
Bob Hardaway - horn
Robert Hardaway - horn
Milt Holland - percussion, tabla, tambourine, timbales, claves, shaker
Carl Huston - handclapping
Kirby Johnson - conductor
Jim Keltner - drums
Marty Krystall - horn
Taj Mahal - bass, guitar, harmonica, vocals, background vocals, acoustic bass
Earl Palmer - drums
Van Dyke Parks - piano, keyboard, vocals, background vocals
Bill Payne - organ, piano, keyboard, electric piano, vocals, background vocals
Joel Peskin - horn
Nat Seligman - handclapping
Anthony Terran - horn
Tony Terran - horn
Ernie Watts - soprano saxophone

Producers - John Hall, Lowell George

REVIEWS

This album is an overlooked gem in the catalog of Bonnie Raitt. On Takin' My Time, she wears her influences proudly in an eclectic musical mix containing blues, jazz, folk, New Orleans R&B, and calypso. Although she did not write her own material for this album, she demonstrates an excellent ear for songs and chooses material from some of the best songwriters of the day. She is a great interpreter, and her renditions of Jackson Browne's "I Thought I Was a Child" and Randy Newman's "Guilty" from this album are the definitive versions of these songs. The highlights of this album are the romantic ballads "I Gave My Love a Candle" and "Cry Like a Rainstorm," where Raitt adds an emotional depth to the performance unusual for such a young woman. (Perhaps that's a result of her spending time with elder statesmen of the blues community such as Mississippi Fred McDowell and Sippie Wallace.) Although the faster-paced songs like the calypso "Wah She Go Do" seem a little out of place, the playful tune is welcome among an album filled with the heartache of the slower tunes. Despite being a relative newcomer, Raitt had already earned the respect of her mentors and her peers, as evidenced by the musical contributions of Taj Mahal, and Little Feat members Lowell George and Bill Payne on the album. This is the last consistent album she would make until her comeback in the mid-'80s. © Vik Iyengar , All Music Guide

Along with Give It Up, Bonnie Raitt's third album, Takin' My Time, stands as her finest work prior to her 1989 critical and commercial watershed, Nick of Time. Featuring an eclectic mix of pop, rock, blues, and soul, the material ranges from Eric Kaz's powerful ballad "Cry Like a Rainstorm" and Jackson Browne's "I Thought I Was a Child" to the snappy acoustic blues of Mississippi Fred McDowell's "Write Me a Few of Your Lines/Kokomo Blues" and the charming calypso "Wah She Go Do." Raitt is backed on the album by members of Little Feat as well as Taj Mahal, legendary New Orleans drummer Earl Palmer, and Rolling Stones sax man Ernie Watts, giving the album a loose, grooving vibe. Her versions of Mose Allison's smoldering "Everybody's Cryin' Mercy" and Randy Newman's sly "Guilty" are real standouts. © Daniel Durchholz , © Amazon.com



SHORT BIO

Bonnie Raitt, born in 1949, American guitarist, singer, and composer, winner of numerous Grammy Awards. Raitt is known for her soulful ballads and blues-influenced rock songs as well as her distinctive slide-guitar playing. Raitt was born in Burbank, California, and attended Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As a child in summer camp, Raitt (whose father, John Raitt, was a musical-comedy star) discovered the protest folk music of Pete Seeger and Joan Baez. She taught herself to play the guitar by listening to records of such blues musicians as Mississippi John Hurt. During a hiatus from college, Raitt worked for a Quaker organization in Philadelphia, Pennysylvania, and also performed in small coffeehouses, where she met some of her blues heroes such as Son House and John Lee Hooker. After she had gained a reputation among folk and blues fans, Raitt was signed to a record contract by Warner Bros. Her first album, Bonnie Raitt (1971), was followed by Give It Up (1972) and Takin' My Time (1973). Subsequent recordings—among them Streetlights (1974), The Glow (1979), Green Light (1982), and Nine Lives (1986)—were critically well received but failed to sell in great numbers. That changed with Nick of Time (1989), which featured a number of popular songs (including “Have a Heart” and “Thing Called Love”) and garnered three Grammy Awards, including album of the year. She also won a Grammy for her duet with John Lee Hooker on his album The Healer (1989). This success continued with Luck of the Draw (1991), which won three more Grammys, and Longing in Their Hearts (1994), which won the Grammy Award for pop album of the year. Other albums by Raitt include Fundamental (1998) and Silver Lining (2002). An active Quaker, Raitt champions social causes, is an active environmentalist, and has worked for victims of political persecution in Latin American countries. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved

MORE ABOUT BONNIE RAITT

Long a critic's darling, singer/guitarist Bonnie Raitt did not begin to win the comparable commercial success due her until the release of the aptly titled 1989 blockbuster Nick of Time; her tenth album, it rocketed her into the mainstream consciousness nearly two decades after she first committed her unique blend of lues, ock, and R&B to vinyl. Born in Burbank, CA, on November 8, 1949, she was the daughter of Broadway star John Raitt, best known for his starring performances in such smashes as +Carousel and +Pajama Game. After picking up the guitar at the age of 12, Raitt felt an immediate affinity for the lues, and although she went off to attend Radcliffe in 1967, within two years she had dropped out to begin playing the Boston folk and lues club circuit. Signing with noted lues manager Dick Waterman, she was soon performing alongside the likes of idols including Howlin' Wolf, Sippie Wallace, and Mississippi Fred McDowell and in time earned such a strong reputation that she was signed to Warner Bros. Debuting in 1971 with an eponymously titled effort, Raitt immediately emerged as a critical favorite, applauded not only for her soulful vocals and thoughtful song selection but also for her guitar prowess, turning heads as one of the few women to play bottleneck. Her 1972 follow-up, Give It Up, made better use of her eclectic tastes, featuring material by contemporaries like Jackson Browne and Eric Kaz, in addition to a number of R&B chestnuts and even three Raitt originals. 1973's Takin' My Time was much acclaimed, and throughout the middle of the decade she released an LP annually, returning with Streetlights in 1974 and Home Plate a year later. With 1977's Sweet Forgiveness, Raitt scored her first significant pop airplay with her hit cover of the Del Shannon classic "Runaway"; its follow-up, 1979's The Glow, appeared around the same time as a massive all-star anti-nuclear concert at Madison Square Garden mounted by MUSE (Musicians United for Safe Energy), an organization she'd co-founded earlier. Throughout her career, Raitt remained a committed activist, playing hundreds of benefit concerts and working tirelessly on behalf of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. By the early '80s, however, her own career was in trouble -- 1982's Green Light, while greeted with the usual good reviews, again failed to break her to a wide audience, and while beginning work on the follow-up, Warners unceremoniously dropped her. By this time, Raitt was also battling drug and alcohol problems as well; she worked on a few tracks with Prince, but their schedules never aligned and the material went unreleased. Instead, she finally released the patchwork Nine Lives in 1986, her worst-selling effort since her debut. Many had written Raitt off when she teamed with producer Don Was and recorded Nick of Time; seemingly out of the blue, the LP won a handful of Grammys, including Album of the Year, and overnight she was a superstar. 1991's Luck of the Draw was also a smash, yielding the hits "Something to Talk About" and "I Can't Make You Love Me." After 1994's Longing in Their Hearts, Raitt resurfaced in 1998 with Fundamental. Silver Lining appeared in 2002, followed by Souls Alike in 2005, both on Capitol Records. A year later, Bonnie Raitt and Friends was released, featuring guest appearances from Norah Jones and Ben Harper among others. © Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide

3 comments:

A.O.O.F.C said...

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Muddy said...

Thanks for more good music from good old days. Of course there's lots of good music these days as well.

It's nice to take a look back for things that got left behind.

This Bonnie Raitt is definitely worth picking up.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Cheers, Muddy, & thanks for comment. Some of the best music has still to be heard, but A.O.O.F.C is trying to promote as much of it as possible. Bonnie's early material was class, and it is only in retrospect that people are realising how good some of this overlooked stuff is. Have you heard Kyla Brox? It's now that singers like her need the accolades, and not in 30 years time. Keep in touch, Muddy