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Thread: Bonnie Raitt

  1. #1
    Obsessed Carrie Fan Schrodinger's Avatar
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    Bonnie Raitt

    Just discovered this gem, a young Bonnie before she broke out. Live 1974 performance of Angel From Montgomery I thought Farawayhills might have a comment or two about her mixed roots.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    Excellent! Thanks for starting for this thread, Schrodinger!

    "Angel From Montgomery" is a classic example of a "crossover" song, that appeals to artists who interpret it with different musical emphasis, mainly depending on whether they give it a more "Appalachian" or a more "Blues" influence.
    Bonnie leans more to the latter - but she's claimed in the Roots community as both Country and Blues, illustrating that the modern "Americana" movement seeks to unify the threads that stem from the Atlantic folk tradition.

    John Prine wrote and first recorded the song in 1971 - and his origins and influence are mainly from Mountain Music. An Angel From Montgomery is apparently prison slang for a Governor's Pardon - and the song is an allegory for an escape for an aging person feeling trapped in a drab routine. (John follows the older tradition of the singer's own sex having no bearing on the character he or she is singing about, and always sings it in character as an "old woman"). For comparison, here's his version:


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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    John Prine seems to have given the song an Alabama setting as a tribute to Hank Williams - and Hank's granddaughter, Holly, has made the song one of her signature tunes.

    In fact, the song appeals widely, and I find it interesting to contrast how different artists give it their own musical feel. Here, for example, is a very Blues influenced version from Susan Tedeschi:


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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    For a more characteristically Country version, here's John Prine again (some forty years on from the original recording) performing it with cult string band favourites OCMS (the original band of "Wagon Wheel" fame)


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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    If Carrie were ever tempted to revisit a classic song like this, it would probably be later in her career.
    The best Mainstream version has probably been by Tanya Tucker, who included it on her groundbreaking '70s Country Rock album T'n'T (which proved too hot for some in the Nashville of the day). Here's a more contemporary Tanya, reprising the song in a benefit for the 2008 tornados:


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    Carrie Fans Legend teesharky's Avatar
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    I would love Carrie to do a Bonnie Song! I know they met several times at Grammys etc as there are pics and Carrie mentioned meeting her once.
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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    Carrie used a Bonnie Raitt song in her American Idol audition.

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    Obsessed Carrie Fan Schrodinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farawayhills View Post
    John Prine seems to have given the song an Alabama setting as a tribute to Hank Williams - and Hank's granddaughter, Holly, has made the song one of her signature tunes.

    In fact, the song appeals widely, and I find it interesting to contrast how different artists give it their own musical feel. Here, for example, is a very Blues influenced version from Susan Tedeschi:

    I like the blues interpretation of the song. For me it has the most emotional power. Listening to Susan Tedeschi she reminded me of Eva Cassidy. Such a talent, taken too soon before the world realized what a gift we had lost. I can't help wondering how she would have interpreted the song.

    For your listing please, here's the full 45 minute set Live at Blues Alley. So good.



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