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SUMMER CONCERTS/Bonnie RaittRocks Wolf Trap

Gale Curcio
By Gale Curcio
Posted on Jun 21,2012
Filed Under Entertainment , Local Style,
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Raitt's throaty, bluesy way of singing has not appeared to change after all these years.
Raitt's throaty, bluesy way of singing has not appeared to change after all these years.

VIENNA, VA. - Cole and Joni Case like Bonnie Raitt so much that they drove up from North Carolina just to see her.
 
Cole’s cousin, Tony Case, owner of Hybla Valley Nursery, offered them the tickets and they gladly took them. Denton Browning accompanied them as well.

After a stage change, Raitt came back on stage, welcoming the crowd and commenting that it was an
After a stage change, Raitt came back on stage,
welcoming the crowd and commenting that
it was an "Election year – or should I say auction?

The sold-out crowd started rocking even before Raitt took the stage, with Mavis Staples as special guest. Staples, an American rhythm and blues and gospel singer, actress and civil rights activist, recorded with The Staple Singers (her family's band) before singing on her own.

It appears that she and Raitt are part of a mutual admiration society, with Staples saying about the legendary singer, “She is the greatest singer in the world. She has a beautiful heart – my’ daughter.’ Got to love that red hair - she could be the Wendy girl too.”

When Raitt took the stage, she said about Staples, “She has been my hero since I was 15 years old. I’ve been waiting to tour with Mavis for three decades. I am so glad to be part of that family.”

After a few songs, Staples announced that she had a "treat before the treat," and delighted crowds when she brought on Raitt for a duo.
 
They sang "We are Broken" and then Staples finished her set alone - going back down memory lane to 1971 with a rollicking rendition of I’ll Take You Back.

“The Staples family has been taking you there for 62 years and we ain’t tired," she said. "We're coming back.”

After a stage change, Raitt came back on stage, welcoming the crowd and commenting that it was an “Election year – or should I say auction?

"It’s a sold-out crowd, a nice breeze is blowing...You have been good to me, Virginia, and you will be repaid tonight.”

And with that, she led off with a song by Kerry Rafferty. She also sang a song by Bob Dylan, saying, “A lot of people don't know Bob Dylan is a blues man.”

Photo by Gale Curcio<br /> <br />Tony Case, Cole and Joni Case and Denton Browning are excited about the Bonnie Raitt concert at Wolf Trap.<br />
Photo by Gale Curcio
Tony Case, Cole and Joni Case and Denton
Browning are excited about the Bonnie Raitt
concert at Wolf Trap.

When Raitt started singing, somebody in the audience commented, “She sounds hoarse – their companion responded by saying, “She always does.”

And indeed, it was Raitt’s throaty, bluesy way of singing that had not appeared to change after all these years.

This year’s tour coincides with the release of Raitt’s 19th album, Slipstream, produced by Joe Henry, as well the launch of her own label, Redwing Records.  
 
Throughout the evening, she continued to play a mix of songs from the new album, while blending in old favorites.
 
When she came back for an encore, she played several of her old songs, and seemed like she could have gone on forever had she not been conscious of the time she had to be off the stage.
 
Raitt had taken a hiatus from touring after her parents, her brother, and a best friend all passed away within a short time of each other.
 
Prior to that, Raitt's last album was the acclaimed Souls Alike in 2005.

Courtesy Photo <br /> <br />Bonne Raitt played to a sold-out crowd at Wolf Trap last week.<br />
Courtesy Photo
Bonne Raitt played to a sold-out crowd at
Wolf Trap last week.

Raitt continues to tour with her long-time touring band mates-George Marinelli on guitar; James "Hutch" Hutchinson on bass and Ricky Fataar on drums. She has added Mike Finnigan (Taj Mahal; Joe Cocker; Crosby, Stills and Nash) on keyboard.

She introduced Finnigan as, the "one and only Mike Finnigan," and commented about his pink shirt several times.

Raitt continued to introduce the band members, saying, “George Marinelli has been my pal for 24 years. For 30 years, Hutch has been with me. And Ricky Fataar on drums.

The set was simple, but effective – a number of what looked like oversize Venetian blinds were contrasted with gathered bunting and lit appropriately for each number.

Each number featured a different guitar, with Raitt accompanying just about every number that she sang.

Her appreciation of the audience seemed genuine, and the crown applauded when she said, “This is one of the most gorgeous venues. I am so blessed. My own album is doing well.”

When she mentioned that Wolf Trap ‘belonged to the government,’ it was a flashback to the seventies when an audience member yelled out, “F__ the government.”

That same person yelled out, “Let Him Dance,” when some people asked one guy who kept jumping up out of his seat to dance. While the mostly middle-aged crowd was definitely into the music, they preferred to keep in their seats, except when standing up to applaud.

At one point, Raitt stopped to wish Jenny Turner a 50th birthday, and said, “I remember that age. Darling, it gets better. I hope to keep playing for another 20 years.”

At age 63, that would bring Raitt up to 83-years-old; she would be competing with Staples – who is still rockin' at the age of 73.



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