Give 'em Somethin' to Talk About, Bonnie Raitt





Bottleneck-style guitar player. Blues singer. Bonnie Raitt. To put it simply, I love her. For a long while when I was singing in bands I tried to emulate her. Not an easy task. Bonnie turns 61 years old on November 8th. Her career has had its ups and downs but she’s never left my cd rotation.  Every now and then something doesn’t feel quite right and I realize it’s time for some Raitt. 


 In 1993 I saw Bonnie in concert and she gained mad respect from me that day. Her ease on stage, soft confidence, wailing guitar, and emotional vocals held their own place on a bill with Neil Young, Simon & Garfunkel, Melissa Ethridge, Warren Zevon, Heart, and Sammy Hagar & Eddie Van Halen.

 Angel From Montgomery( written by John Prine)- In a 2000 interview Raitt stated: "I think 'Angel from Montgomery' probably has meant more to my fans and my body of work than any other song, and it will historically be considered one of the most important ones I've ever recorded. It's just such a tender way of expressing that sentiment of longing - like 'Hello In There' - without being maudlin or obvious. It has all the different shadings of love and regret and longing. It's a perfect expression from [a] wonderful genius." (*)

Bonnie released her first album in 1971 and quickly impressed musicians as they noted her strong guitar skills—bottleneck blues was an unusual style for women then and even now it is not the common style for female guitarists. Critical acclaim abounded, but getting her music out into the mainstream proved to be the challenge. It wasn’t until 1977 when she covered Del Shannon’s Runaway that she had a popular following.



Many album releases came and went without much fanfare: The Glow (1979),Green Light (1982), Nine Lives (1986). During this time Bonnie struggled with a drug and alcohol addiction that plagued her for years. She credits the death of Stevie Ray Vaughn as the catalyst that caused her to sober up.


Bonnie talks about her life as a musician.

Then Nick of Time was released in 1989. Her collaboration with producer Don Was made all the difference. Twenty years and ten albums later all of a sudden she was an overnight success. She swept the Grammies in 1990 and again in 1991 after her album Luck of the Draw hit it big. In 1994 she picked up two more Grammies for Longing in Their Hearts.



Something To Talk About -A combination of elements in this song helped place it on  Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, the Mainstream Rock chart and the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
 I'm in the Mood (with John Lee Hooker)- Bonnie's mad respect for the bluesmen that inspire her have led to some amazing collaborations. Personal connection: I've spent a few evenings in John Lee Hooker's Boom Boom Room Club in San Francisco's Fillmore district. Great live blues. 
Pride and Joy- Her tribute to Stevie Ray. I'm sure he's smiling down on her. Bonnie dedicated her Luck of the Draw album to Stevie Ray. 
Love Has No Pride- with Crosby, Stills, & Nash. Originally released on Linda Ronstadt's album Don't Cry Now, the song was a hit for Bonnie Raitt in 1974.
The importance of keeping blues music in the public eye has been a passion for Raitt. In an effort to help out blues pioneers  she co-founded the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1988, which works to improve benefits, both financial and in terms of critical recognition for R & B musicians. Paired with her busy activist lifestyle Bonnie Raitt seems to be happy and focused all while making the music she loves in her 61st year. Happy birthday, Bonnie!
(*)Interview from:  Women Changing the Face of Music: Bonnie Raitt
Performing Songwriter, 1/1/00
by Lydia Hutchinson
 (image from

Views: 176

Comment by Schmoopie on March 21, 2015 at 9:38am

Thanks for the feature!  I still love and listen to Bonnie.

Comment by nerd cred on March 21, 2015 at 9:46am

Thanks for the reminder and the music. I've only tried the first video but it's working fine.

I didn't learn of her until Nick of Time but have you ever seen/heard her father? mmmm ...
I saw him on stage in Pajama Game in the '50s or '60s. Even to a little kid he was delicious.

Comment by nerd cred on March 21, 2015 at 9:48am

Oh what the hell

Comment by Schmoopie on March 21, 2015 at 9:50am

nerd cred: Thanks for adding these. I remember seeing the Boston Pops bit with her father on PBS. 

Comment by Arthur James on March 21, 2015 at 11:45am


... and now

we love too


nice end of

day post to

listen too


Comment by Schmoopie on March 21, 2015 at 12:13pm

Thanks, Art! Glad you enjoyed it. 

Comment by Arthur James on March 21, 2015 at 4:17pm


Introduce to folk who

can't spell snoopy? It

a pretty sunset Eve too.

Comment by alsoknownas on March 21, 2015 at 4:40pm

I used to play with the guy who played 2nd guitar on some Mississippi Fred McDowell records. McDowell taught Bonnie how to play slide.

In '75 I think it was I met her back stage while chatting with Buddy Guy. Tres cool. Flirty too. Yow!

Never got to the Boom Boom Room but I saw John Lee several times and sat with him and drank beer one evening. That also was a great thing.

Comment by Mary Lois Adshead on March 22, 2015 at 8:51am

Nice to think about (and listen to) Bonnie Raitt again! Ever notice how MUCH she looks like her dad? It's said he wished she'd gone into classical music instead of the medium she chose.

Comment by Schmoopie on March 22, 2015 at 1:20pm

Alsoknownas: Lucky you, meeting Bonnie! And with Buddy Guy! Saw Buddy at a blues concert a few years back--he's still on top of his game.

Mary Lois Adshead: She does favor her father for sure. I think he came to accept her choices musically--certainly couldn't argue with her success.


You need to be a member of Our Salon to add comments!

Join Our Salon


Where Jaws was Filmed

Posted by J.P. Hart on June 18, 2019 at 11:19am 0 Comments

I’m Not A Buddhist

Posted by Robert B. James on June 18, 2019 at 7:42am 1 Comment

2 Questions for Kosh and Jon

Posted by Ron Powell on June 18, 2019 at 2:30am 2 Comments

Greeting of the Day

Posted by Ron Powell on June 16, 2019 at 10:08am 0 Comments

Go Big or Go Home

Posted by Ron Powell on June 16, 2019 at 9:30am 2 Comments

© 2019   Created by lorianne.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service