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The WERS Artist Of The Week is singer-songwriter and guitar player, Bonnie Raitt! Earlier this year Raitt released her sixteenth studio album (and first in nearly 7 years), Slipstream. WERS loves Slipstream so much that we have picked it as our Album Of The Month for August!
Raitt grew up in Poughkeepsie, New York and in 1967 attended Harvard University’s Radcliffe College. She went to see blues promoter , Dick Waterman, do a talk at the Harvard radio station and the two quickly became friends. Waterman helped Raitt get gigs in clubs in Boston and also a spot opening for blues singer Mississippi Fred McDowell in New York. At that New York gig Raitt was seen by a Newsweek reporter, who helped spread the word of her performance. This led to many record labels being interested in Raitt and eventually she signed with Warner Brothers. In 1971 she released her self-titled debut album, which was met with warm critical fanfare. Her next two albums, 1972’s Give It Up and 1973’s Takin’ My Time were both critically acclaimed but met with little commercial success. In 1977, she released her sixth studio album, Sweet Forgiveness and finally achieved her first commercial hit with her cover of Del Shannon’s “Runaway”.
Raitt went on to release several albums throughout the late 70s and early to mid-80s, all of which were met with little to medium critical and commercial success… she didn’t receive that until 1989 when she released her tenth album, Nick Of Time. The record sold over 5 million copies and won three Grammy Awards, including Album of The Year. Her next album, 1991’s Luck Of The Draw also won three Grammy Awards (and sold 8 million copies!). Her follow up album, 1994’s Longing In Their Hearts, won Raitt an additional 2 Grammy Awards.
This past decade has proved fruitful for Raitt as well. In 2000, she was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. She also released two studio albums, 2002’s Silver Lining and 2005’s Souls Alike.
Flash forward to 2012 and Raitt is back with a brand new record, Slipstream. As of this month, the new record has sold 229,000 copies in the United States and has received praise from critics. WERS has picked Slipstream as our Album of The Month for August so listen in to WERS all day long this Friday, August 31st as we will be playing tracks from the record and giving you a chance to win your very own copy!
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