Bonnie Raitt: Slipstream

Bonnie Raitt
(Redwing Records)

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I stopped in my tracks when I first heard Bonnie Raitt’s soulful rendition of the wonderful Joe Henry/Loudon Wainwright III classic, “You Can’t Fail Me Now,” while passing through my local coffee shop. While the song is admittedly one of my all-time favorites, Raitt’s version worked in such a different way from the original and such is the case with many of the tracks on Raitt’s new album, Slipstream.  Henry’s songwriting and producing seem the perfect fit for Raitt who hasn’t lost a thing after 40 years on the stage. While the songs range from slow, heartfelt tunes to down-home bar room blues, they deliver, with an original, distinct style.

Raitt’s reggae version of Gerry Rafferty’s “Right Down the Line” is another amazing track and sits right alongside “You Can’t Fail Me Now” as the standout songs on the album as both show off her unique vocals and are as entrancing as they are musically surprising. (Who knew she could pull off reggae?) Raitt also does a fantastic job with the funky, up-beat opening track, “Used To Rule the World,” along with her covers of Bob Dylan’s “Standing In the Doorway” and “Million Miles,” which may fit in more with what Raitt is known for, but there’s good reason because, after all, she’s one of the reigning queens of the blues. It’s been a long time since her Grammy-winning breakthrough, Nick Of Time, but this album is right on-par with it and is unquestionably one of Bonnie Raitt’s best to date.

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About Tim Needles

Tim Needles is an artist, photographer, humorist, and writer from Long Island, NY. His writing and art work has been seen in multiple exhibitions and publications around New York as well as the Photographer’s Forum, French Photo, the New York Times, and LI Pulse magazine. He is also an educator and currently teaches art and film at Smithtown, NY and as an Education Leader for Adobe. He was recently the recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Award in Washington DC and serves as the director of Strictly Students, a non-for-profit group for media and education. His work can be seen on his website: www.timneedles.com
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