As we saw on Sunday night at the Grammys, when she did a duet with Alicia Keys in tribute to the late Etta James, Bonnie Raitt‘s just got one of those ageless, unchanging voices – it’s comfort food for the ears: homey, understated, and warm. But it wasn’t just a wonderfully random thing that she showed up to perform on the industry’s biggest night. Bonnie’s got a new album coming out, set for release on April 10 – her first new studio album in seven years. It’s called Slipstream, and the first single from the album was released for downloads last week. The song is a cover of “Right Down the Line”, the 1978 hit by Gerry Rafferty, who passed away last year at the age of 63.
The song’s a personal favorite of mine from Rafferty’s classic album City to City (which also featured his signature solo hit “Baker Street”) – a song expressing steadfast love and appreciation: “I just want to say: this is my way of telling you everything I could never say before. This is my way of telling you that every day I’m loving you so much more.” Raitt’s voice, with its matter-of-fact strength and earthy candor, is uniquely well-suited to such a sentiment, and she gives the song a light ska-flavored rhythm. Listen here:
And here’s the Gerry Rafferty original: