A slipstream, according to the Harper Collins English Dictionary, is ‘a stream of air behind any moving object.’ And in this, Bonnie Raitt’s first studio album in seven years, that’s exactly what you get: a stream of fresh air in a blend of blues, soulful ballads, country, rock and even a touch of reggae, all punctuated by that familiar exquisite slide guitar that is Bonnie’s trademark.
The album boasts Raitt’s renditions of songs by the likes of Bob Dylan, Loudon Wainwright III, Bonnie Bramlett, Gerry Rafferty, Al Anderson and Joe Henry. The latter also produced several tracks on the album and his band plays on those tracks with Raitt. Anderson also lends a hand on guitar for all three of the tracks he penned, also singing on one of those tracks.
My personal favourites on this album are Anderson’s ballad of regretful decisions, ‘Not Cause I Wanted To’ and the heartfelt ‘You Can’t Fail Me Now’, co-written by Henry and Wainwright; not to mention, the very catchy ‘Marriage Made in Hollywood’.
From soulful ballads to pop and rock, Raitt covers several genres here without ever really losing her focus. Her version of the Gerry Rafferty song, ’Right Down The Line’ has a decidedly reggae feel, while ‘Ain’t Gonna Let You Go’ is blues all the way, and proof that this woman is one fine exponent of the slide guitar.
Raitt has been through a great deal of personal upheaval in her life in the last seven years and took a break from touring and recording to focus on the far more important matters of grief and family. But now she is back: and with an album that delivers everything that you have come to expect from this renowned blues singer/songwriter and Queen of slide … right down the line.
by Sharyn Hamey