Guitarist, singer and songwriter Bonnie Raitt won the award for Best American Album at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards this year.
Beating out heavy competition from contenders Mumford and Sons, The Lumeers and The Avett Brothers, the 63-year old guitarist spoke backstage about winning her 10th Grammy Award.
The relentlessly hard-working guitarist and singer/songwriter had taken time off after touring to relocate, and relax, before recording her Grammy-winning album Slipstream. Bonnie’s slide guitar, lacing elements of various styles of music, had seduced Grammy voters.
She has been long noted for her work as an environmentalist, and had been outspoken politically, even prior to 1979, when she played the No Nukes concert with like-minded musicians, including Jackson Browne and Graham Nash. The No Nukes concert would result in the first live recording of Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band, and a concert documentary released in 1980.
Raitt is founding member of Musicians United for Safe Energy in 1979. She became a great influence on involvement in the anti-nuclear movement, and is involved in many environmental causes, as well as charitable work.
Having lived in hectic Los Angeles, and in Marin County’s small town, Mill Valley, it would be natural that she would decide to take time off and relax, where the grass was greener.
After accepting her award in the pre-telecast ceremony at the Grammys, backstage, she stated, “I split my time between Northern and Southern California, but I have just always, ever since I was a little girl, wanted to live up in those Redwoods.”
She explained, “So I think that taking my year hiatus in 2010 really meant a big refreshing, transformative time, and part of it is because when you get a chance to live where you really want to live, in a place where you see all that beauty, it can’t help but really heal you.”
Bonnie enjoyed taking time off, but missed working and playing guitar. “Man, I’m telling you,” she told the press backstage, “Playing in a band, and we just finished eight months, and I thought I would be glad to get off the road for a minute, you know we’re going out again for the rest of the year. But I got home after about two weeks, and I thought, ‘And, and what am I going to do what, what tonight? Sit around and watch TV and make dinner?’”
“It’s in my blood, you know. I love touring,” said Raitt.
“42 years now later, more than I ever did when I started out,” she commented. “It’s as much fun as it seems like when you see us up there.”
The 63 year-old Raitt said, “I don’t know if I’m bad ass, but I feel bad ass when I’m up there, so that must have something to do with it.”
~ Phyllis Pollack