Bonnie Raitt's nineteenth album, Slipstream, is daring, bluesy, and steeped with the inimitable slide guitar and soulful vocals that could only be hers. The album marks her return to studio recording after seven years; it's coming out as the launch of her own label, Redwing Records; and it delivers some of the most surprising and rewarding music of her remarkable career, thanks in part to some experimental sessions with celebrated producer Joe Henry.
After a triumphant appearance at the all-star Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th anniversary concert in 2009, Raitt decided to step back and recharge for a while."I took a hiatus from touring and recording to get back in touch with the other part of my life," she says. "On the road, under stress, it's hard to stay in balance and move forward." When she started thinking about making music again, Bonnie knew she needed to try something out of the ordinary. "I was really interested in working with different people, and someone I had always been drawn to was Joe Henry," she says. "I didn't have to produce or get the band together, I could just show up and sing," she says. "I came to Joe's with, to use a Zen expression, 'beginner's mind.'" The experiment yielded eight songs in 48 hours, and Raitt was inspired to get back to work full force. "I loved singing these songs and playing with these guys so much," she says, "This was just the jumpstart I needed to get me back in the saddle and wanting to work on a new album."