On Silver Lining, Bonnie Raitt continues her incredible career with her formidable guitar work and distinctive vocal style. Raitt began her career in the late 1960s, and in addition to collaborating with many of the most important blues and R&B pioneers, has made a career out of mixing classic style with her own brand of passion.
The artist’s love of folk and blues helped her gain access to blues giants like Fred McDowell, Sippie Wallace, Son House, Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker early in her career.
Touring with these legends, Raitt learned invaluable first-hand lessons about music and life. Her ability to collaborate with such notable artists early in her career helped her learn amazing guitar techniques and gain a lasting love of blues and R&B styles.
Raitt has also peppered her career with a healthy dose of activism. She spends much of her time rallying for women’s rights, the environment and music education in a national environment that tends to leave out the need for music in education.
In the forward to “American Roots”, a book based on the PBS series of the same name, she wrote, “I feel strongly that this appreciation needs to be out there so that black, Latino and all kids can understand the roots of their own musical heritage.” She explained, “The consolidation of the music business has made it difficult to encourage styles like the blues, all of which deserve to be celebrated as part of our most treasured national resources.”
Of this new album Bonnie said, “The thing that most excites me about Silver Lining is that we finally get all the punch and the funk into the studio that we’ve gotten live.”
In addition to all of the great material she acquired for the album, the last-minute inclusion of a song written by Eric Clapton’s guitarist Alan Darby called “Wherever You May Be” adds a lot to the feel of the record.
Silver Lining also captures examples of her “growing fascination with African music.” “It’s apparent in the jump up, skimming rhythms of “Hear Me, Lord” written by Zimbabwean world-beat master Oliver Mtukudzi. It’s also woven into the fabric of “Back Around,” a complex fusion of traditions explored by Raitt and Malian pioneer Habib Koite.
With this new album Raitt continues her tradition of exploring an incredible array of musical styles while still maintaining her own fundamental love of R&B, blues and a mean slide guitar. The tour began on March 30 and will continue through the end of June. She performs in Portland on June 14 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.