International Guitar Month: Day 6 Bonnie Raitt

I love to watch men play the guitar. Today I want to give it to the women. I enjoy Bonnie Raitt. She is an awesome guitarist. Here are highlights of this blueswoman’s fantastic career in music.

bon_ratBonnie was raised in Los Angeles. A Stella guitar given to her as a Christmas present launched Bonnie on her creative journey at the age of eight. While growing up, though passionate about music from the start, she never considered that it would play a greater role than as one of her many growing interests.

Exposure to the album Blues at Newport 1963 at age 14 had kindled her interest in blues and slide guitar, and between classes at Harvard she explored these and other styles in local coffeehouse gigs. Three years after entering college, Bonnie left to commit herself full-time to music, and shortly afterward found herself opening for surviving giants of the blues. From Mississippi Fred McDowell, Sippie Wallace, Son House, Muddy Waters, and John Lee Hooker she learned first-hand lessons of life as well as invaluable techniques of performance.

Word spread quickly of the young red-haired blueswoman, her soulful, unaffected way of singing, and her uncanny insights into blues guitar. Warner Bros. tracked her down, signed her up, and in 1971 released her debut album, Bonnie Raitt.

Over the next seven years she would record six albums.

In March of 2000, Bonnie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; this was followed by her welcome into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame, along with her father, in June 2001.

In 1995, she initiated the Bonnie Raitt Guitar Project with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, currently running in 200 clubs around the world, to encourage underprivileged youth to play music as budgets for music instruction in the schools run dry. Bonnie currently sits on the Advisory or Honorary Boards of a number of organizations, including Little Kids Rock, Rainforest Action Network, Music Maker Relief Foundation and the Arhoolie Foundation.

To learn more about Bonnie Raitt visit: BonnieRaitt.com

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