Byron Bay Bluesfest

Take 5 with Bonnie Raitt . Discover The Soundtrack To Her Life

6 December 2016

The fabulous Bonnie Raitt takes 5 minutes between her busy touring schedule to chat with us about the soundtrack to her life and shares why she is always so delighted to be returning to Australia and Bluesfest.

What is the one song that reminds you of growing up and why?

‘Twist & Shout’ by the Isley Brothers has the R&B 45 that just catapulted me into puberty when I was 11 or 12 the time it came out. To this day, that song reminds me of pubescence.



 What is the song/s that’s always busted out when no one is around - why?

I love ‘Reggae Got Soul’ by Toots and the Maytals. If I’m having a rough day I put that on and it doesn’t matter what’s going on it lifts my spirits and get’s me rocking.



What is the song/s on high rotation in your car/tour bus at the moment?

The Indestructible Beat of Soweto – all the records on the Earth Works , that series of Soweto Music from the 70’s in South Africa.

Ricky Fataar our drummer is from Durban South Africa and I fell in love with the music that they play.



What was your wedding song (or what would it be)?

I love ‘ I Wanna Know What Love Is’ by Foreigner or ‘ I’ve Been Waiting For A Girl Like You’. There’s an awful lot of others, but these flew into my mind.

You know at my own wedding, my Dad sang ‘ The Girl that I Marry’ which he sang on ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ with Mary Martin when he was on the shows with her and that was wonderful, I will always remember that. That was a high point, most don’t get to have their dad sing his own songs at their wedding.



Your favourite song/s to cover at the moment?

INXS of course but also I love singing Jr Walkers ‘Road Runner”, I sing ‘Bad Case of Loving You By’ Robert Palmer as a segue from Road Runner. I’m also thinking about working up ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ by Steppen Wolf – I love them! Oh and The Pretenders and Toots and the Maytals.



If you could sing a duet with anyone dead or alive who would it be and what would be the song?

I would love to sing a song with Memphis Mini – and I don’t know what song it would be, but I just though she was terrific and was one of the first women stars of the guitar – I would love to play slide alongside with her while she plays guitar.



Your all time Blues hero is….why?

That’s very difficult for someone who loves so many Blues artists, but I would say Muddy Waters encompasses what I love about Chicago and Mississippi Delta Blues, he was a ferocious singer, incredible friend and wonderful man.

If you only had one choice and were trying to turn someone that hadn’t heard the Blues before, there’s any number of songs that Muddy Waters could sing….. he would convert somebody lying in a coffin ( laughs).



Could you share with us why your excited to be returning to Bluesfest in 2017?

Well I’m so honored every time they ask me to come. The line up is so inspired and the setting is unmatched to any other festival around the world, it’s a blast!

The only frustration is knowing you are playing the same time as other people you want to see. You never know what’s going to happen. The audience is off the charts with enthusiasm and it’s just one of a kind.

I hope it goes on forever and I hope I get asked many many more times.


Bonnie Raitt performs at Bluesfest 2017 on Good Friday as well as sideshows before the festival at The State Theatre Sydney, Canberra Theatre Centre, Hamer Hall Melbourne and QPAC Brisbane. All the info here

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