BONNIE RAITT – ” Just Like That… “

Posted: December 28, 2022 in MUSIC

“It’s like putting together a great meal,” says Bonnie Raitt of the 10 songs on her 18th album “Just Like That…” “I’m not a terrific cook, but I appreciate why you wouldn’t want to put this vegetable with that vegetable when this one will be a better match.” 

Initially touched by a human interest story she saw on 60 Minutes about a woman who met the recipient of her son’s heart and would hear it beating for the first time since his death, Raitt began writing the title track. Another newspaper story about volunteers who spent time with terminal inmates inspired “10 Down the Hall,” while the remainder of “Just Like That…” was a collection, snapshots of songs Raitt meant to cover over the years, from “Something’s Got a Hold of My Heart,” by NRBQ’s Al Anderson; Toots and the Maytals’ “Love So Strong,” a song she originally planned to duet with her friend Toots Hibbert before his untimely death from COVID in 2020; the more uptempo blues of “Made Up Mind” by alt-country group The Bros. Landreth, who she had friended nearly a decade earlier at the Winnipeg Folk Festival; and her own rendition of “Here Comes Love” by the California Honeydrops, which she initially cut during her Dig In Deep session in 2015. 

Throughout “Just Like That…” Raitt hoped to tell stories as great as her late friend John Prine. “Those story songs—Prine and Jackson and Paul Brady from Ireland, and Bob Dylan—was really what I wanted to do on those two songs,” says Raitt, “to come from that fingerpicking simplicity of just a person on the guitar.”

“Just Like That…” was recorded in the summer of 2021 in Sausalito, CA. The players include two longtime members of Raitt’s band, bassist James “Hutch” Hutchinson and drummer Ricky Fataar, as well as two new musicians, Canadian Glenn Patscha on keyboards and backing vocals and Nashville guitarist Kenny Greenberg. Her longtime guitarist / songwriting partner George Marinelli also joined in, playing and singing on “Livin’ for the Ones,” the song they co-wrote for the album. Once again, Bonnie took the producer reins, reuniting with her favorite recording and mixing engineer, Ryan Freeland, for their third collaboration (they each earned Grammy Awards for Raitt’s 2012 release, “Slipstream”).

The mix of sounds and approaches on “Just Like That…” reveals how, 50 years after the release of her debut album, Raitt continues to personify what it means to stay creative, adventurous, and daring over the course of a life’s work.

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