Bonnie Raitt "Dig in Deep"

When Bonnie Raitt heads into the studio to record a new album there are several things you can always count on. 1) She will be surrounded by incredibly skilled and experienced musicians, 2) the production and recording will be impeccable, 3) the choice of material will be inspired, and 4) Raitt will bring her heart and passion to the project.  Dig in Deep is an example of an artist who has found her sweet spot and continues to mine its rich gold lode.

Raitt self-produced the album and focuses on the type of song that fits her style best. Slinky rhythm and blues and rock cozy up to sensual ballads. Central to the sound is Raitt’s alluring vocals and sleek slide guitar. The one exception is “You’ve Changed Your Mind” a song by Joe Henry who also produces. Raitt is supported by tried and true band mates who also happen to be super-star studio musicians. These include Jay Bellerose, David Piltch, Bill Frisell, Ricky Fataar, Jon Cleary, George Marinelli, and Mike Finnigan.

Raitt has always been an astute judge of material, often focusing on lesser known or emerging writers. These include Gordon Kennedy, Bonnie Bishop, and Pat McLauglin. She also covers the INXS song “Need You Tonight” and offers a rocking rendition of Los Lobos’  “Shakin’ Shakin’ Shakes.”  Raitt ventures more into the realm of composing her own material, writing or co-writing five of the dozen tracks and she shows a range of styles. “What You’re Doing To Me?” is a sexy blues rocker. “If You Need Somebody,” co-written with her guitarist George Marinelli, slows down to mid-tempo, and “Unintended Consequences of Love” is a funky dissection of love.  “The Ones We Couldn’t Be” is a contemplative ballad about lost love. It’s the album’s closer and it captures the essence of Dig in Deep. Raitt holds up love like a prism, revealing its many facets and multiple covers from bright love red, to rueful blue. 

Rosemary Welsch (Afternoon Mix)

 

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