10 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Produced by R&B legend Jerry Ragavoy — best known for overseeing classic songs by Garnet Mimms, Howard Tate and Erma Franklin —Streetlights brings out the down-home soul in Bonnie Raitt. While not as energetic as her first three albums, Streetlights is focused and streamlined. There is a blue-flame simmer in this music that puts it on par with Ann Peebles, Otis Clay, Al Green and the rest of the Hi Records stable. Raitt is a natural for Howard Tate’s “Ain’t Nobody Home” and Allen Toussaint’s “What Is Success,” the latter a rumination on the nature of the music business: “What is success? Is it doing your own thing or to join the rest?” The natural poise and conviction in Raitt’s voice is a perfect fit for the slow-burning gospel of “I Got Plenty.” Even more impressive are her soulful interpretations of songs outside the R&B arena. She gives an effortless, earthy feeling to Joni Mitchell’s “That Song About the Midway” and turns John Prine’s “Angel from Montgomery” into an elegantly lonesome prayer.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Produced by R&B legend Jerry Ragavoy — best known for overseeing classic songs by Garnet Mimms, Howard Tate and Erma Franklin —Streetlights brings out the down-home soul in Bonnie Raitt. While not as energetic as her first three albums, Streetlights is focused and streamlined. There is a blue-flame simmer in this music that puts it on par with Ann Peebles, Otis Clay, Al Green and the rest of the Hi Records stable. Raitt is a natural for Howard Tate’s “Ain’t Nobody Home” and Allen Toussaint’s “What Is Success,” the latter a rumination on the nature of the music business: “What is success? Is it doing your own thing or to join the rest?” The natural poise and conviction in Raitt’s voice is a perfect fit for the slow-burning gospel of “I Got Plenty.” Even more impressive are her soulful interpretations of songs outside the R&B arena. She gives an effortless, earthy feeling to Joni Mitchell’s “That Song About the Midway” and turns John Prine’s “Angel from Montgomery” into an elegantly lonesome prayer.

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About Bonnie Raitt

By the time Bonnie Raitt found worldwide success with 1989’s Nick of Time, the songwriter and master slide guitarist had already recorded 10 albums over two decades. A pioneering figure in roots rock who spent her early years apprenticing with bluesmen like Mississippi Fred McDowell, Raitt, who was born in Burbank, California, in 1949, seemed to have stepped out of an imagined past, synthesizing strains of blues, folk, rock, and country in ways that felt both effortless and fresh. She does it all on 1972’s Give It Up, which spans raucous New Orleans-style R&B (“Give It Up or Let Me Go”) and contemplative ballads (“Nothing Seems to Matter”), bare-bones blues (“Love Me Like a Man”) and string-heavy folk (“Too Long at the Fair”), with Raitt equally at home in each. She’s since left her mark on artists covering all sorts of terrain—from Susan Tedeschi and Joss Stone to Adele and Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard. Or, as blues legend B.B. King said of Raitt’s impact in one of his last interviews: “I came up in a macho world and never thought I’d ever declare the best living slide guitarist to be a woman. Well, I’m declaring.”

HOMETOWN
Burbank, CA
GENRE
Rock
BORN
November 8, 1949

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