Over the past three decades, veteran blues rocker Bonnie Raitt has paved the way for women rock guitarists. Her singing and songwriting have also earned her million-selling albums and nine Grammy Awards. Bonnie has just released Silver Lining, her first album in four years. The CD has already been certified gold, for U.S sales of more than 500,000 copies. It is the 16th album from Bonnie Raitt.
Bonnie Raitt is one of the few women recognized for her virtuosity on the slide guitar. Also known for her commitment to humanitarian causes, she helped establish the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, which assists older blues musicians in recouping the royalties and performance fees that were denied to them in their prime years.
Bonnie's commitment to activism was instilled at an early age. The daughter of Broadway star John Raitt, Bonnie was raised in the Quaker religion, with its principles of social responsibility, pacifism and tolerance.
Her father, and occasional duet partner in concert, was on hand to serenade Bonnie in March, when she was presented with her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. There's more family participation on Bonnie new album, Silver Lining. Her brother Steve, a sound mixer and recording engineer, sings background vocals. Bonnie comments, "Steve has been a great addition to my learning about great R&B records. He's a great singer and always jumps on stage and sings with me, as do my dad and other brother, David. I finally got Steve on one of my records."
Bonnie Raitt first learned how to play guitar at age 12, and struggled as an artist for 20 years before she had her first hit in 1989 with the album Nick of Time. Her persistence eventually paid off, and she was inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
Bonnie has always expressed her livelong love for the blues, and respect for blues and R&B musicians. She perfected her craft by playing with blues greats John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and Ruth Brown. Bonnie's album Silver Lining includes tributes to her musical roots and favorite styles - blues-rock, boogie, New Orleans funk, and African pop. The song Silver Lining is Bonnie's cover of a tune by British singer and songwriter David Gray. She says she was "knocked out" when she heard it on his 1999 album White Ladder.
Still an active performer at age 52, Bonnie Raitt is on the cover of the current issue of My Generation magazine, which is published by AARP, the former American Association of Retired Persons. She recently commented, "No one could have told me in my 20s that my 50s would be my best years."
Bonnie and her old friend, singer and songwriter John Hiatt, are featured on the soundtrack to the forthcoming Disney film, The Country Bears. Bonnie also sings a duet with Eagles member Don Henley. All three make cameo appearances in the film as themselves.
Bonnie and country singer Lyle Lovett will be touring across the U.S. through September. Bonnie said, "We're thrilled to be going back out on the road with Lyle and his band. Out under the stars with such great songs and slinky grooves, what better way to spend a summer night?"