Get this crazy baby off my head!


Bonnie Raitt

Bonnie Raitt - Bonnie Raitt - 1971 - Warner Bros. Records

A singer-guitarist (and occasional composer) who renders all the Collins/Baez melodrama superfluous. Raitt is a folkie by history but not by aesthetic. She includes songs from Steve Stills, the Marvelettes, and a classic feminist blues singer named Sippie Wallace because she knows the world doesn't end with acoustic song-poems and Fred McDowell. An adult repertoire that rocks with a steady roll, and she's all of twenty-one years old. A- © Robert Christgau, www.robertchristgau.com/get_artist.php?name=bonnie+raitt

There are two ladies who are regularly featured on A.O.O.F.C, - Rory Block, and Maria Muldaur. There are others, but these two ladies in particular have done an immeasurable amount to preserve blues, and specifically blues roots music. Another great lady has perhaps been neglected by this blog, as she has done just as much to preserve and keep the blues alive over the last four to five decades. That lady is Bonnie Raitt. In november, 1971, Bonnie Raitt’s debut album, Bonnie Raitt, was released, which was an amazing first album by a 21-year-old singer/guitarist who had an understanding of, and feeling for old style blues roots music way beyond her years. This s/t album by Bonnie has now become a classic of American blues roots music, and should be heard by anybody interested in great music, whether it be folk, rock or Americana. It is VHR by A.O.O.F.C. Check out her "Fundamental" album, where you will find a large collection of traditional blues songs. There is also information on her "Takin' My Time" album @ BRAITT/TMT


1. Bluebird - Stephen Stills
2. Mighty Tight Woman - Sippie Wallace-Arr. by John Beach
3. Thank You - Bonnie Raitt
4. Finest Lovin' Man - Bonnie Raitt
5. Any Day Woman - Paul Seibel
6. Big Road - Tommy Johnson-Arr. by Bonnie Raitt
7. Walking Blues - Robert Johnson - Arr. by Bonnie Raitt
8. Danger Heartbreak Dead Ahead - Ivy Hunter-Clarence Paul-William "Mickey" Stevenson
9. Since I Fell For You - Bud Johnson
10. I Ain't Blue - Spider John Koerner/Willie Murphy
11. Women Be Wise - Sippie Wallace-Addl. Lyrics by John Beach


Bonnie Raitt - acoustic/slide/electric/steel guitar, piano, vocals, background vocals
Willie Murphy - guitar, piano, percussion, keyboards, vocals,background vocals
Russell Hagen - guitar, electric guitar
Peter Bell - acoustic guitar, electric guitar, electric bass, percussion, background vocals
Freebo - fretless bass, tuba, vocals, background vocals
Paul Pena - bass, background vocals
John Beach - piano
Steve Bradley - drums
Steve Raitt - percussion, sound effects, background vocals
Douglas Spurgeon - trombone
Eugene Hoffman - saxophone, tenor saxophone, cowbells
A.C. Reed - tenor saxophone, saxophone
Maurice Jacox - baritone saxophone, flute, wind
Voyle Harris - trumpet
Junior Wells - harmonica, harp
Reeve Little, Chris Rhodes - background vocals


The astounding thing about Bonnie Raitt's blues album isn't that it's the work of a preternaturally gifted blues woman, it's that Raitt doesn't choose to stick to the blues. She's decided to blend her love of classic folk blues with folk music, including new folk-rock tunes, along with a slight R&B, New Orleans, and jazz bent and a mellow Californian vibe. Surely, Bonnie Raitt is a record of its times, as much as Jackson Browne's first album is, but with this, she not only sketches out the blueprint for her future recordings, but for the roots music that would later be labeled as Americana. The reason that Bonnie Raitt works is that she is such a warm, subtle singer. She never oversells these songs, she lays back and sings them with heart and wonderfully textured reading. Her singing is complemented by her band, who is equally as warm, relaxed, and engaging. This is music that goes down so easy, it's only on the subsequent plays that you realize how fully realized and textured it is. A terrific debut that has only grown in stature since its release. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

Bonnie Raitt's debut album features an unusual collection of songs performed by an unusual assortment of musicians. And Bonnie is something out of the ordinary herself. She has been traveling the blues-festival circuit since 1968, playing the Boston-New York-Philadelphia folk run, since 1970. Now she has done something unusual with her first Warners album. In August, Bonnie rented a fishing camp on a Minnesota island, solicited the production services of Willie Murphy, the musical talent of his Bumblebees, and the fourtrack equipment of "Snaker" and Sylvia Ray. Bonnie then enticed Junior Wells and A.C. Reed from Chicago to join her regulars, bassist Freebo and guitarist-folk-singer Peter Bell. The sessions were done in a two-car garage and the product is good: a different album, a representative portrait of this artist. Bonnie accompanies her folk-blues on a Mississippi National steel guitar. Her slide work is uncommonly good, equal to her straight acoustic stuff–in fact, it is simply among the best. Unfortunately, her ability is not fully captured on this album, because Bonnie's guitar is not amply showcased –a major fault of the production. There are two obvious idioms on the album–rock-soul and folk-blues. A third genre consists of three estranged numbers that are joined by the mood of their rendition. In their melancholy tone, these songs are the most consistently pleasing–Paul Seibel's countrified quickie of an incredible lyric, "Any Day Woman," "Spider" John Koerner's rainy-day special, "I Ain't Blue," and Bonnie's simple, personal piano ballad, "Thank You." On these tunes, Bonnie's thin, folk-founded voice is properly suited with a minimal amount of backing. Her ability to communicate emotion and involvement is most effective here. Comparatively, the rock-soul treatments, reminiscent of Rod Stewart's reworking of "I'm Losing You," are heavily produced. Bonnie capitalizes on the soulful potential of Steve Stills' "Bluebird" and the existent groove of a former Marvelettes single, "Danger Heartbreak Dead Ahead." On these songs, the shift in emphasis goes from mood to delivery, and Bonnie succeeds best vocally on "Danger." There's an inkling of her electric slide talent there, too, as she weaves around the song, using the slide as an additive agent, not a gimmick. And this is an arrangement where you'd least expect to hear bottleneck. On "Bluebird," Bonnie's ability to use musical cliches tastefully is exemplified by the "bum-do-wadda" chorus that is carried in a joyful, respectful vein without the cynicism that so often undercuts such maneuvers. In keeping with Bonnie's image and preferences, there are five blues numbers. The selections are rare (Sippie Wallace's "Women Be Wise," "Mighty Tight Woman," and Tommy Johnson's "Big Road") traditional (Robert Johnson's "Walkin' Blues") and contemporary (Bonnie's "Finest Lovin' Man"). Arrangements are consistently good, the music solid. Bonnie Raitt's 1971 debut opens with the thrumming blues/folk-rock gem "Bluebird" --between her beautifully soulful singing, textured voice and the song's perfect arrangement, she announced herself as a new and impressive talent. Thankfully (for some) this is miles away from the more mainstream pop music she hit with in the '80s. [ Review from MusicStack, www.musicstack.com/album/bonnie+raitt/bonnie+raitt ]


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

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