I’ve mentioned more than once that I have ambiguous feelings about such prolific songwriters as Bob Dylan, John Prine, and Leonard Cohen. All of them have written such memorable songs, songs that are woven into fabric of American pop and political culture. As much as I admire their abilities, I can’t stand hearing any of them sing. They hurt my ears. They make me want to change the station to something else. Unless, of course, someone else is rending their work.
Bonnie Raitt is at the opposite end of this same spectrum. She has written a fair amount of her own music, but I beleive her true gift is as an interpreter of other songwriters. She has this ability to take a song, where I might otherwise change the station, and turn it into a warm, lovely, aching, sometimes heartbreaking thing. He voice is knowing, weathered and weary, and always right on. She never wastes a note. She never does more than the song requires. She always delivers exactly what is needed.
As renowned as she is, I think she is somehow underrated, as least as a singer. People think of her slide guitar what they think of Bonnie. I think of her warm alto, and the way she can use it to move me.
I have lots of Bonnie to share, but we’ll start here. Bonnie Raitt, singing John Prine. Awesome.
Audio only[audio http://sampsons.org/files/BonnieRaittAngel.mp3]
And a grainy video too 🙂
Wow. This is very moving. Maybe some of you can picture yourselves in this man’s shoes. I just did.
I’ve been kicking around the idea of a blog for some time now. I actually had one for a while, a few years back. Creating one is easy, but maintaining one is hard. It requires a dedication to producing regular content, a commitment I have generally been reluctant to make. Oh and not to forget, the content should be interesting, at least to someone. For now, that someone is just me. So I’m going to start this thing off with only one requirement — the content needs to be interesting to me.
This is my little place to think through an idea, emote, or blow off steam from time to time. Some of it is personal; some of it will delve into politics, big questions, and humor. Maybe some day my boys will read this, when they are old enough to care about such things, and get to know what the Old Man was all about.
Welcome to Rick’s Head. It’s a dark and scary place. Sometimes.