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May the fourth be with you, everyone!

The Skip 5 Show #4: Bonnie Raitt – Rock Steady (f. Bryan Adams)

Taken from CD2 of Raitt’s 1995 Road Tested live set, this track (written for Bonnie by Bryan) is, naturally, a bluesy rockin’ duet between one of my favourite slide guitarists ever (listen to her play on this one!), and one of my 80s rock heros (found here in full Hey Honey, I’m Packing You In! vocal mode). The guitars shimmer, the drums pound, and the vocals play back and forth in pure fun. 

Bonnie Raitt, Late Night Records, Trisha Yearwood

I have been under the weather this weekend (and ain’t it always on a weekend, when you should be enjoying yourself and some family time off, eh?). As a result, I have been short-changing you. Since I started this brevity project, I’ve been hammering away at the listening, and firing up enough that in 25 days, even with more than one day with only one listing, I am still beginning the 26th day of this year at #79. But I intend to hit 100 this month. I might not hit it every month, but for the first month of the year it would be cool if I broke 100. Just like when I’m golfing. So. Let’s have at it in the five days we have remaining, shall we? Yes, we shall.

Ten Great Late Night Albums, Pt.4 (31-40)

When the kids are in bed just down the hall, what music best fills the hours before the grown-ups finally crash for the night? Here are 10 records (in no particular order) that I will (and have!) put on later at night…

Various – Rollins’ Choice (2CD)
Norah Jones – Come Away With Me
Charlie Watts – Long Ago & Far Away
Ani DiFranco – Reprieve
Joe Henderson – So Near, So Far (Musings For Miles)
Hélène Grimaud – Credo (Salonen, Swedish RSO)
Christopher Parkening – A Tribute To Segovia
Natalie Merchant – Tigerlily
Big Rude Jake & His Gentleman Players – Butane Fumes And Bad Cologne
Glenn Gould – Bach: Goldberg Variations

Bonnie Raitt – Nick Of Time
Bonnie Raitt – Luck Of The Draw
Bonnie Raitt – Longing In Their Hearts

I love Bonnie Riatt’s music. I really do. I imagine that, in a live setting, most of these songs kick some serious, unapologetic ass. There’s no questioning her voice, it’s a powerful, beautiful thing. There’s no questioning her ability as a guitar player – I would still lay even money that she’s hands-down one of the best slide blues guitar players in the business. So why are her albums so great and yet so… safe, so… disappointing?

The songs are strong, absolutely. The hits are all over these three records – Thing Called Love (John Hiatt wrote it), The Road’s My Middle Name, Something To Talk About, Not The Only One, Love Sneaking Up On You… the list is endless. This was a potent, incredibly productive and excellent period for her. I just wish she was dirtier, on record, more raw. Eric Clapton suffers the same thing – on stage, you know he’s killing it, but on record, especially on a lot of later records… the production seems to take over. It’s glossy, perfect, and that’s not blues. I really want to love these Bonnie albums, and I do… but only so much. They’re not gritty enough, there’s no edge. She doesn’t even solo that often. What are these people thinking? Why cage a lioness?

Trisha Yearwood – Everybody Knows
Trisha Yearwood – Inside Out

I don’t know a whole lot about country in the past twenty years, but probably a bit more than does the average bear. The songs on both of these albums are light, pretty, gentle, and beautiful (even the fast ones).  They’re well-written, well-produced, and just about every one of them is aimed at the radio. This stuff is new country gold, y’all.

But the main seller here, for me, is Yearwood’s incredible voice. This lady can SING! Holy crap, these songs are just vehicles to bring you that voice. What a weapon! I knew Believe Me Baby (I Lied), and there’s a cool duet with Roseanne Cash on the second record, but really, this is all about that voice.

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