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Bonnie Raitt and Friends (with Bonus DVD)

24 customer reviews

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Bonnie Raitt and Friends (with Bonus DVD) + Road Tested [2 CD] + Slipstream, Bonnie Raitt
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Less than a year after VH1 Classic debuted "Decades Rock Live!", the network breaks new ground with the first-ever DVD/CD release from the innovative concert series. VH1 Classic Decades Rock Live! Presents Bonnie Raitt and Friends Featuring Norah Jones, Ben Harper, Alison Krauss and Keb'Mo' will be released by Capitol Records on August 15th. Bonnie Raitt and Friends, which was recorded live at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ on September 30, 2005, will feature never-before-seen performance and interview footage, including four duets not included in the VH1 Classic broadcast of the concert. With two hours of concert and interview footage, the concert which was filmed in Hi-Definition and is presented in 5.1 audio, features Raitt performing 17 songs with her longtime band - George Marinelli (guitar), James "Hutch" Hutchinson (bass), Ricky Fataar (drums) and Jon Cleary (keyboards). Included are such classic Raitt hits as "Something To Talk About," "Love Letter" (with Mo'), "You" (with Krauss) and a knock-out encore of "Love Sneakin' Up On You" with Raitt, Jones, Harper, Krauss and Mo' as well as highlights from her latest studio album, Souls Alike, including "I Will Not Be Broken," "God Was In The Water", "I Don't Want Anything To Change" (with Jones) and "Unnecessarily Mercenary" (a duet with keyboardist Cleary, who wrote the song). The accompanying CD features 11 tracks, including the radio single "Two Lights In The Nighttime" (featuring Ben Harper).

Judging from her two live releases, this and 1995's Road Tested, everyone's favorite slide-guitar-playing, rootsy redhead loves working with other musicians. Generally known for raising the visibility of older blues and R&B legends such as Ruth Brown and Charles Brown, she invites more contemporary stars Ben Harper, Norah Jones, Keb' Mo', and Alison Krauss along for this set. Recorded during a September 2005 evening, this slick CD/DVD package catches Raitt and her muscular four-piece on tour supporting Souls Alike. Perhaps not surprisingly, the setlist is heavily weighted to that album, with nearly half the selections drawn from the disc. Although those songs are well played, they don't differ markedly from the studio versions. It would have been more interesting to cherry-pick older, more obscure material from Raitt's extensive career. Regardless, the duets work well in a restrained VH1 way, with Harper the highlight as he lays into the gospel "Well, Well, Well" and the double-barreled slide showcase "Two Lights in the Nighttime." Raitt's in fine fettle throughout, slinging stinging slide solos and singing with her usual emotional fervor.

Oddly, the 52-minute CD version of the 17-song, hour-and-a-half video omits the lovely Norah Jones-assisted "Tennessee Waltz" and Alison Krauss's hoedown on "Papa Come Quick." The professionally shot DVD expands the sound to surround, but nearly mars the generally fine set with excessive camera movement; garish, obtrusive lighting; and a brash, hyperactive video background that is, at best, distracting--and more often undermines Raitt's earthy performance and classy collaborations with her band and musically amiable guests. --Hal Horowitz

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 15, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B000GGSLV8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,332 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By kireviewer VINE VOICE on October 2, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I was worried about how good this would be when I saw the cover. It is a cheap looking cover. It looks like one of those junky CD's you order on late night TV. Maybe something KTel puts out. It turns out that it is not horrible, is actually pretty good, but it could have been much better.

This is a video of a VH1 produced concert. The video is 90 minutes. It comes with a CD that contains 11 of the 17 songs. The CD is only 52 minutes long. I don't know why they didn't include more songs on the CD. They could have easily gotten 4 to 5 more songs on it. Some of the best songs are left off of the CD.

The sound quality is OK, but could have been much better, especially for a concert that was produced specifically to be recorded. The sound is muddled at times and certain instruments seem far away. The drumming is too far up in some cases. The sound is especially bad on the CD. It gets better if you listen to it in 5.1 on the DVD.

This is one of those cheap and quick video filming and editing exercizes. The camera is always zooming in and out. No shot is held for more than a few seconds. Video are done this way because it is easy. You don't have to know the music or spend any time on the editing if you do it this choppy manner. But, there a few songs near the end where the shooting and editing is a little better. Maybe it is because the camera crew finally figured out which one was Bonnie Raitt.

The song selection and performances are mostly good, but not spectacular. I have seen Raitt and have live recordings that are much better. Most the hits she has done before, and most of the time they were better in the past. Although, none of the songs are bad here.

What I really like is the new material.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Thomas D. Ryan on September 8, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Bonnie Raitt is certainly one of the most consistent artists of the past 35 years. While that might mean that her work is often predictable, it also means that it is usually very good. Since her debut, Raitt's approach hasn't really changed much at all; she still mixes ballads, rock, and folk-oriented music and infuses all of it with a strong sense of the blues. About the only thing that has changed over the years is the level of recognition that she receives. The combination of her voice and slide-guitar tone is now instantly recognizable by just about anyone, and here numerous Grammy awards have helped elevate her to a semi-legendary status.

"Bonnie Raitt and Friends" celebrates her career by presenting a live performance that captures the essence of her artistry, and pairs her with some special guests. Surprisingly, virtually none of the songs performed are taken from the first half of her career, which I see as a good thing. Although I love the material on her early albums "Taking My Time," "Home Plate" and others, those songs have grown a bit shopworn over the years. "Love Has No Pride" and "Angel from Montgomery" do not make the cut, while newer songs like "Crooked Crown" and "I Don't Want Anything to Change" are prominently featured. I believe the oldest song from her repertoire that appears here is "Love Letter," from 1989's "Nick of Time" album. The emphasis on newer material provides this collection with a sense of freshness that is exceptional, especially for an artist with a four-decade career.

While each song is performed beautifully, the pace of the show varies from lachrymose to lukewarm. Special guests enliven things a bit, with appearances by Keb Mo', Alison Krauss, Ben Harper, Jon Cleary (who is a bonafide bandmember) and Norah Jones.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By J. Bilby on August 15, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I'm a long time fan and have seen Bonnie a kazillion times

over the years. This is a unique recording of some great music &

guests on here (Allison Krauss, Ben Harper, Keb Mo and Nora

Jones) and they just add that extra spicey flavor to make Bonnie's music even that much cooler. Funky stuff here,("Love

Letter" w/Keb, "Gnawin on it", "Unnecessarily Mercenary", w/ the

band, "Two Lights in the nighttime" w/ Ben Harper dueling slide

guitars on this one. Beautiful ballards "You" featuring Allison

Krauss and her harmony and fiddle, "I don't want anything to

change" w/Nora Jones, and also with Nora the great duet on

"Tennesee waltz", great recordings of "Papa come quick",w/ Allison, "Something to talk about", "No getting over you",w/Keb

the newer cuts "I will not be broken" and my favorite on

SOULS ALIKE "God was in the water". The sound is superior on

the DVD, crisp you can here every little pluck, everything

is there, never slick but real music from excellent musicans.

Bonnie Raitt has such a huge song cataloge its impossible

to get to everything but she does manage to highlight the

best of what she does. Vh1 classic does a great job with this,

I found the lighting and visuals excellent its busy but it

keeps everything moving right along. This is a highlight in Bonnie Raitts career and

not to be missed. I still can't get over just how awesome the

sound is on my sound system, the surround sound recording

on the DVD is really exceptional.
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Bonnie Raitt and Friends (with Bonus DVD)
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