Release Date: Apr 10, 2012
Record label: Redwing Records
Genre(s): Blues, Singer/Songwriter, Adult Contemporary, Pop/Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Blues-Rock, Album Rock, Slide Guitar Blues
Bonnie Raitt is such a class act it's easy to forget she's kind of a badass: Harvard African Studies major-turned-world-class-blueswoman, slide-guitar master, platinum pop star and a singer-songwriter with interpretive skills so sharp she once turned "Baby Mine," the maternal lullaby from Dumbo, into a seduction. Slipstream, her first album in seven years and the first she has self-released, is a loose and adventurous reminder of everything she does well. The LP divides into two parts, the larger featuring an enhanced version of her touring band.
The singer’s best album since 1975’s underrated Home Plate is a mix of rock, blues, folk, and funk she might associate with her old pals Lowell George and Little Feat, and I’d associate with the beat and groove of the R&B classicists she belongs among. Her slide-guitar playing throughout Slipstream is superb, and she slips her purring voice into every song like a letter going into an envelope addressed just to you. A- Best Tracks:So-true ballad You Can’t Fail Me NowRedeemed Oldie Right Down the Line .
It’s been seven years since Bonnie Raitt released Souls Alike, and a lot of life has happened. Losing her parents, brother and a best friend has left the veteran blues/soul rocker with plenty to think about—and that pensiveness colors Slipstream with knowing acceptance, nuanced takes on loss and a grace that finds splendor in the raw places. On the hushed, gut-string “What I Had To Do,” there are amends being made, regret expressed.
Etta James and Whitney Houston are gone, but Bonnie Raitt is back, and that’s something to be thankful for. “I’m not getting older, I’m getting better” might be an idle boast for some. But Raitt’s voice, like that of the ageless Tony Bennett, has gotten even better with more miles on it, still sounding like the sonic equivalent of a glass of Southern Comfort.
Slipstream provides ample proof of just how much fans have missed Bonnie Raitt since 2005's Souls Alike. The album was recorded over a period of a year at Ocean Way in Hollywood and at Joe Henry's Garfield House. The four tracks cut at Henry's studio in 2010 and 2011 include two of his own songs, and two covers of Bob Dylan tunes ("Million Miles" and "Standing in the Doorway") from the latter's Time Out of Mind.