Slipstream is the nineteenth album from Bonnie Raitt. It's her first album for seven years - her last album, "Souls alike" came out in 2005. Slipstream is being released on her own label, Redwing Records.
The album's title is an indication of her place in the music community. "I'm in the slipstream of all these styles of music," she says. "I'm so inspired and so proud to continue these traditions, whether it's reggae or soul or blues. I'm in the slipstream of those who came before me, and I'm leaving one for those behind me. I'm holding up the traditions of the music that I love."
After touring her last album Bonnie Raitt took time out from working. "I took a hiatus from touring and recording to get back in touch with the other part of my life," she says. "On the road, under stress, it's hard to stay in balance and move forward." Excited to have time at home and with her family and friends, she could go to the symphony, check out live jazz and Cuban shows, and so much else. She continued her ongoing political work, helping to organize NukeFree.org in 2007 and supporting her favorite non-profit organizations. "I didn't have to be the professional version of myself for a long time," she says. "It wasn't so much a vacation as a chance to take care of a lot of neglected areas of my life, a lot of processing after all that loss and activity."
When she got back to making music she called producer Joe Henry and recorded a bunch of songs with him. She plans to release the full results of the Joe Henry sessions down the line, but for now she chose to include four of these tracks on Slipstream — the Henry originals "You Can't Fail Me Now" (co-written with Loudon Wainwright III) and "God Only Knows," and two songs from Bob Dylan's Time Out of Mind album, "Million Miles" and "Standing in the Doorway." After working with Joe Henry, Raitt found herself motivated to get back to work recording, and the result is Slipstream.
What can I say after listening to the album over the last few days? Well firstly and most importantly - it's great.
The songs are superbly written with thoughtful, insightful and sometimes introspective lyrics. There's some excellent slide guitar in some of the songs (as you'd expect from Bonnie Raitt). There's quite a wide variety on the album with songs ranging from an upbeat tempo to dark and depressing (the Bob Dylan covers) - although to be honest they sound a lot less depressing here than the originals by Bob Dylan do. Gerry Rafferty's "Right down the line" has been given a real reggae feel, and sounds great - a nice new take on the song that works really well.
This is a great album from Bonnie Raitt - lets hope we don't have to wait another seven years for the next album from her.
Slipstream is out now.
1. Used to rule the world
2. Right down the line
3. Million miles
4. You can't fail me now
5. Down to you
6. Take my love with you
7. Not cause I wanted to
8. Aint gonna let you go
9. Marriage made in Hollywood
10. Split decision
11. Standing in the doorway
12. God only knows