A Sophisticate and Bonnie Raitt

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"Life gets mighty precious when there's less of it to waste" Bonnie Raitt

One of the stories I never get tired of listening to is how my Dad saw Bruce Springsteen and Bonnie Raitt open for Jackson Browne at a small club in NYC before they were famous. 

Out of all the artists he saw before  they were famous including Linda Ronstadt and Elton John I would have loved to have seen Bonnie Raitt. My Dad loved Linda Ronstadt but as growing up my own musical tastes diverged from my Dad. Although I enjoyed listening to Linda Ronstadt, I liked Bonnie Raitt a little better because of her bluesy and country sound. Plus, Bonnie Raitt was an awesome guitar player.

The first song that made me take notice of her was The Thing Called Love.  Bonnie Raitt is a good singer but it was her guitar chords that  made me feel confident, playful, flirtatious, and sexy. In the song The Thing Called Love her guitar chords linger and are played to perfection. Subtle with amazing "hooks" or "riffs" that move along with the song. Some guitar players "strum" or "wail". Her chords linger and take on a human form. The sound that comes from her guitar tells the listener what she as the artist is thinking and feeling. 
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In the song, not only does the guitar take on characteristics of a human being but so do the rest of the instruments. The tamborine sounds like a snake and drums convey the "swagger"   or arrogance of wearing heavy boots. There are very few artists can make instruments embody  human characteristics all moving towards the point they want to convey with their lyrics. The song is so good the instrumental version would be could stand by itself and be just as good without the lyrics.

After falling in love with The Thing Called Love I began to investigate the rest of her music.  When I first saw her album cover and the album itself Takin My Time where she is wearing a white fedora hat I was immediately attracted to her fashion style. She seemed to exclude attitude with her style and music.

"I've watched my peers get better with age and hoped that would happen to me" Bonnie Raitt

Her career began with songs like Cry Like a Rainstorm on the album Takin' My Time. When I first heard Cry Like a Rainstorm on the radio  I downloaded  it without hesitation. Linda Ronstadt covered the song in the early 90's and preferred Bonnie Raitt's version. For me, Bonnie the emotion has in her voice drips in your ears like honey drips down your throat. 

"Amid a horde of female vocalists who've walked the tightrope between commercialism and a more ambitious artistic intent since the Seventies, Raitt has consistently proven the most talented and intelligent. Her ability to turn a phrase and invest lyrics with emotion — especially an unadorned sexuality — makes her the valedictorian in a class that includes more successful contemporaries like Linda Ronstadt." 'Nick of Time' by Fred Goodman 1989 Rolling Stone  


Beyond style,  talent and a little attitude, she also has resilience. Bonnie Raitt is one of the few artists (A Sophisticate is a Singer Songwriter) who has had two successful careers. Instead of a "Best of" album or an album of "Duets"  to help carry her career into the next decade she recorded an album just as good, if not better then when she first started in the music industry.

"Tell Your Heart I Love" Bonnie Raitt

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In the song I Can't Make You Love Me she has lyrics that are so powerful and emotional, the music is unnecessary. Nick of Time is the best folk/ pop song by an artist. The background is very "folksy" with an infectious repeat rhythm with a dash of blues. Thank you from her self-titled album Bonnie Raitt thanks the one she loves for loving her with a beautiful piano song. The lyrics show class through gratitude and appreciation. Finally, the song Gulity written by Randy Newman is a great blues song. 

Bonnie Raitt is a great guitarist, songwriter, and singer. She can make music and has lyrics that can intermingle with each other and stand independently of each other. She has songs that are folk, blues, country, and rock. She can write ballads love songs, sad songs, and upbeat pop songs. In the end, a Sophisticate likes Bonnie Raitt because like her music she is versatile, resilient, and talented. ;D