Bonnie Raitt: Dig in Deep (Redwing)

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Bonnie Raitt: All Alone with Something to Say
Bonnie Raitt: Dig in Deep (Redwing)

Bonnie Raitt, everyone's favourite red-haired slide guitarist – is there another? – is looking more grey these days, but in the blues-rock world she inhabits and has defined that's a distinction rather than a demerit.

It's been four years since her excellent, Grammy-winning Slipstream – and 45 years since her self-titled debut – but the album title here (which takes its name from a line in the sensually adult opener Unintended Consequence of Love) suggests she's not giving up but rather drilling down on these 12 songs, one of which hauls out the steaminess of INXS' Need You Tonight in a soul-funk style.

If Raitt doesn't sound quite as at home on it as she has on similar originals in the past decade, and errs to some familiar MOR musical tropes on I Knew which sounds instantly familiar, she elsewhere delivers her singular style with a nod to sneering Dylan on the slow-burning original The Comin' Round is Going Through.

With members of her longtime band and New Orleans-styled Hammond player Mike Finnegan (to the fore on the terrific What You're Doin' To Me), she again explores mature aspects of love, passion, regret and departure.

Her minimal, newly minted classic Undone is a heart-stopper of soul-filled lyrics with aching slide, but she also rocks out on Shakin' Shakin' Shakes.

At 67, Raitt finds new angles in her established style (the acoustic'n'strings ballad You've Changed My Mind), and, although her exceptionally loyal audience doesn't demand or want innovation, on Dig on Deep she digs deeper than anyone has a right to expect.

For more on Bonnie Raitt at Elsewhere including archival and recent interviews start here

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