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Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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.”

BALANCED BONNIE

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.”

TOUR TRAVELS

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.

GROOVING GENERATIONS

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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