Bonnie Raitt : Just Like That… Review
Bonnie Raitt is back with her latest album, Just Like That…, her first album in over six years. The Rock And Roll Hall of Famer continues to draw on all the influences that have shaped her legendary career while simultaneously creating something that articulates the circumstances and challenges of these unprecedented times. Just Like That… was recorded in Sausalito, California, with an all-star band that included two longtime members of Raitt’s band, bassist James “Hutch” Hutchinson and drummer Ricky Fataar, as well as two new musicians, Canadian Glenn Patscha on keyboards and backing vocals and Nashville guitarist Kenny Greenberg. Her longtime guitarist/songwriting partner George Marinelli also joined in, playing and singing on “Livin’ for the Ones,” the song they co-wrote for the album.
“Made Up Mind” is the opening song filled with Raitt’s warm slide guitar playing and emotive vocals. Raitt’s tone and delivery are soulful, and the lyrics are excellent as they pull you into the narrative. Raitt is a master of creating a feel; her music is always rich in textures and well-written song forms, and “Made Up Mind” is no exception. The groove is deep, and the pocket is wide, and reflects Raitt’s ability to set a groove that is equal part funk, soul, rock, and blues. This has been a part of her sound since the beginning, and if you connect to this, you will also find her catalog filled with this type of depth and substance.
“Livin’ for the Ones,” one of the many highlights on the album, is a joint effort by Raitt and Marinell. The song has excellent lyrics, melody, and groove. Though Raitt is a master at picking other people’s songs and putting her stamp on them by putting them in her key, adding her slide guitar, and her singing sensibility with her longtime band. She is also equally gifted as a songwriter, and “Livin’ for the Ones” exemplifies this gift. The melody is memorable, and the lyrics are emotive and well-structured. Raitt fans will also notice that she has many more hues in her vocals now, and her seasoned delivery is simply beautiful.
Just Like That… is an outstanding project, and Raitt is singing and playing better than ever if that is imaginable. The album has a vibe, a cohesive flow that pulls you in and keeps you for its entirety. Though Raitt is without question the lead, one gets the sense that this is a collaborative project between great friends and musicians that share a lot of mutual respect for each other, and the result is magic.
Just Like That...
April 22, 2022