Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Queen of the Road
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Queen of the Road

Kristi Kates - June 23rd, 2014  

Bonnie Raitt’s last two-year tour actually wrapped up last December.

So why is the blues singer-songwriter back on the road again?

Simple answer: it’s in her blood.

“I feel responsible, because we are traveling with 22 people and it’s important to stay healthy,” Raitt said. “We have organic food at each venue. We get fresh air. I bring my yoga gear with me. And we carry bicycles underneath the bus so we can explore.

“We’ve played some of these places so many times, it’s like seeing old friends.”


With 17 albums, 10 Grammy Awards, spots on Rolling Stone Magazine’s lists of the 100 Greatest Guitarists and the 100 Greatest Singers of All time, and a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it’s pretty obvious that Raitt has found the right formula.

“I knew that charts would come and go, but the fans will always stay with you,” Raitt said about her extensive touring schedule.

She balances the travel with her rootsy album releases, plus selected collaborations with the likes of Alicia Keys, Keb’ Mo’, and John Lee Hooker.

It’s an approach that’s made her an American musical icon, but you’d never know it. The humble, friendly Raitt said that she simply appreciates things being a little easier these days than when she was first starting out.

“The bus is nicer, the hotels are better, the level of success brings a level of comfort,” Raitt said. “But the real benefit of being around a long time and having fans that stick with you is that you can choose what you do.”


Much of what Raitt chooses these days is live performance.

“The road is really fun for me,” she said. “You have to really like it – and I do.”

For the last 17 years, Raitt and her band have traveled at night “to avoid traffic,” she explained.

They’ve also dialed in ways to stay healthy for peak performance.

“Health, exercise, good food, and enough sleep doesn’t sound very rock and roll, but it actually is,” Raitt said.

And they have a road routine worked out to maximize the experience.


After selected dates this summer, Raitt will go back into the studio.

“For this next record, I’ve been writing more easily,” she said. “[I]t’s been more difficult to come up with more original stuff that you haven’t already sung about, or grooves that you haven’t already played, to be original and fresh.” To do that, she edits what she listens to a bit. “I have to be very careful not to listen to Randy Newman or Jackson Browne, because then I’ll be so intimidated that I won’t write anything,” she said with a laugh.

That intimidation factor is now being paid forward, as Raitt’s own songs have been covered recently by a range of current pop/ rock artists, including Adele, Bon Iver, and Kelly Clarkson.

Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters even approached Raitt at a charity event and told her that meeting her was on his “bucket list.”

“I do have to thank musicians like Adele, and Justin Vernon from Bon Iver,” Raitt said. “With them giving me props, I’m reaching a whole new generation.”

Including Interlochen’s students, who will be treated to what’s sure to be a landmark Raitt performance next week.

“With Interlochen being such a renowned arts and music place, it’s always a very discerning audience, and very enthusiastic, so I’m really looking forward to going back,” she said.

“And I hope some of their youth will show up.”

Bonnie Raitt with special guest Paul Cebar will be in concert at Interlochen’s Kresge Auditorium at 8pm on June 30. For tickets and more, visit tickets.interlochen.org.

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