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Album review: Bonnie Raitt, Slipstream

By Graham Reid

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Bonnie Raitt, Slipstream. Photo / Supplied
Bonnie Raitt, Slipstream. Photo / Supplied

Bonnie Raitt

Verdict: Something familiar and something new, just what fans want, too.

Everyone's favourite slide-playing redhead hasn't had an album since 2005, but from the opener here - a restlessly funky dump on proud snobs who Used to Rule the World - show she's wasting no time staking her claim again.

Produced in part by Joe Henry - whose co-write with Loudon Wainwright You Can't Fail Me Now sounds tailor-made and a yearning partner to her wonderful I Can't Make You Love Me from two decades ago - and with a cracking band, Raitt jumps easily from searing blues (Down to You, Ain't Gonna Let You Go) to cooking rock (Split Decision), from Gerry Rafferty's Right Down The Line (given a reggae blues-rock feel) to deeply understood ballads (guitarist Al Anderson and Bonnie Bishop's song of loss and regret Not Cause I Wanted To).

Marriage Made in Hollywood about a famous OD victim is sassy, pointed and sadly true at the same time ("we all love tragedy ... all you need to be a star is die in public view"), but she really gets under the skin of two Dylan songs from his Time Out Of Mind album; Million Miles (bluesy and hurt) and Standing in the Doorway (spacious, stately, accepting the loss of love but full of need).

She's been a long time gone, but she's back.

- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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