Album of the Day
Though the daughter of a Broadway musical star, Bonnie Raitt's heart lay with the blues, a fact made abundantly clear on her eponymous 1971 debut. The Warner Bros. collection includes material by Robert Johnson and Sippie Wallace, and harmonica great Junior Wells provides a stamp of approval by playing on several tracks. But Raitt's take on the blues is more about feel than history - her strong vocal and guitar work bring a down-home, lived-in appeal to Stephen Stills and Marvelettes songs, too. The set's immediacy is partly due to its no-frills recording (at a remote campsite on Lake Minnetonka); as the singer noted, “we recorded live on four tracks because we wanted a more spontaneous and natural feeling in the music.” BONNIE RAITT was an auspicious start to the Grammy winner's career, and we'll give it another spin now to wish her a happy 70th birthday.