Album: Bonnie Raitt

Silver Lining, Capitol
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The Independent Culture

On Silver Lining, the association with the producers Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake that initially bore such tentative fruit on 1998's Fundamental finally brings forth the promised bounty of succulent R&B and country-funk. Much of the renewed zest is down to the decision to use Bonnie's touring band – a stellar aggregation of session players such as George Marinelli, Ricky Fataar and Hutch Hutchinson, rounded out by the brilliant New Orleans pianist Jon Cleary – with Froom adding depth and texture with his characteristic keyboard shadings. Right from the outrageous, prancing Crescent City boogie of "Fool's Game", Silver Lining is a stone delight, sure to bring a smile to the face of anyone who hankers after the halcyon days of Little Feat.

Cleary's flamboyant piano figures are the perfect complement to Raitt's searing slide guitar, while Hutchinson's strutting funk bass on "Monkey Business" is the sonic equivalent of Huggy Bear, super-cool incarnate. Froom's contributions lend the requisite expansive moods to the more thoughtful "I Can't Help You Now" and David Gray's "Silver Lining", while elsewhere Tommy Sims adds funky Little Beaver-ish guitar flourishes to the country soul of "Time Of Our Lives", and Los Lobos' Steve Berlin brings his baritone sax to the party for Bonnie's incendiary duet with fellow slide-guitarist Roy Rogers, "Gnawin' On It". Most impressive of all, perhaps, is the collaboration with Malian guitarist Habib Koite's group Bamada on "Back Around". Highly recommended.

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