Bonnie Raitt; A Flower in the Mud

Imagine laying by the ocean on a warm summer day. The mist – soothing the aches caused by the immense heat of the sun …

Think of a child appearing with a toothless grin amid the staunchest boors at a dinner party from Hell. Place the pair of scenarios together like two wine glasses connecting in front of a fire on a cold winter’s eve. This was the feeling listening and watching Bonnie Raitt perform last night at Theatre St.Denis


Seldom – in a world saturated and obsessed with everything wrong in the music world, do the diamonds shine through. Rarely, do musicians arrive with the ability to decipher songs for the right reasons along with the proper sentiment.

Some artists go to school and sign up for all the extra curricular activity. Bonnie Raitt is one of them.

Versed with a slide guitar seemingly sewn to her impossibly fit form, the recently- turned sixty – four year old delivered a lesson. Vocally, musically,lyrically and ‘sexily’. The crowd assembled – lost in a cloud of respect and awe …

A woman did not enter a ‘man’s world’ in the early 70’s. Especially the way Raitt did. Armed like a gunslinger – SHE fought the ‘guitar law’ and won. Setting ‘the stage’ for Nancy Wilson and Joan Jett. Allowing girl bands everywhere the right to rock. Raitt accomplished the feat while remaining true to her roots. Theatre St. Denis was treated to those roots through Raitt and some of the finest musicians this side of Memphis …

‘Hutch’ Hutchinson and Ricky Fataar held the ‘gas pedal’ at the right speed. A battery worthy of wealthy words. Tim Finnegan, on Hammond organ and keyboards – almost stole the show. His playing and starring vocals on ‘ I Got News for You’ – the perfect match for Raitt’s bluesy roots. Whether tinkling the keys as soft as a feather across a baby’s cheek or pounding hard as a rock on a cliff’s edge – Finnegan displayed the proper piano etiquette and then some …

George Marinelli – a Keith Richards‘ clone ( circa 2013 in appearance) and long – standing Raitt apostle, grounded Raitt’s slide to perfection while delivering proper leads and rhythm. A true piece of the folksy, country, blues, Pop and R and B puzzle. A musician’s musician.

Opening act Mark Cohn ( Walking in Memphis), delivered his hit along with sometimes tender balladry as well as a return appearance in the encore. He and Raitt dueling to ‘Crazy Love’ – a Van Morrison classic.


Raitt herself, as calm and funny as a seasoned veteran should be. Following an ode to the late Gerry Rafferty with a genuine cover of ‘Right Down the Line’ – Raitt’s hit; ‘Something To Talk About’ – set the mood. Instantly recognizable and instantly infectious. Toes were tapping and tongues’ were waggin’ as Raitt eased into an evening complete in music.

I Can’t Make You Love Me‘ saw the emergence of Raitt’s soul. A song worn on dirty sleeves. Banter of a marriage – wasted, portrayed through song and words. ‘Angel from Montgomery‘ – the beautiful ballad penned by John Prine; sent shivers as the audience heard Raitt’s homage to her Mom. To her home. To her life …

Imagine laying by the ocean on a warm summer day. The mist – soothing the aches caused by the heat of the immense sun.

Imagine Bonnie Raitt …

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