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Review: Bonnie Raitt shines in a night of blues, rock and folk at The Grand

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Bonnie Raitt | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

The legendary Bonnie Raitt filled the intimate confines of Wilmington’s Grand Opera House with her signature mix of rock, blues and folk Tuesday night. For nearly 90 minutes, she delivered one knockout song after another, warming everyone up from the late-autumn chill and rain with her own classics, as well as a healthy dose from 2012’s covers album Slipstream.

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Bonnie Raitt | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

Sporting red curls that she joked were in the vein of Jessica Rabbit’s, Raitt showed off slide-guitar skills at peak performance and vocals that are as rich as ever. She wasted no time in getting the crowd revved up, with the second song of the night being one of her best known, “Something to Talk About.” She followed that with the Bob Dylan cover “Million Miles,” setting up a night of her familiar work mixed with engaging new interpretations.

Her band was in glorious form, with guitarist George Marinelli, bassist James Hutchinson, drummer Ricky Fataar and keyboardist Mike Finnigan creating a rich expanse of sound that enveloped the Grand. And the Grand itself, surely one of the region’s greatest venues, was a star performer as well, with its refined acoustics and intimacy stirring Raitt to comment on its greatness multiple times.

Raitt invited no fewer than three guest performers to make the night even more special.

Opener Paul Brady, who had just arrived in the States the night before from Ireland to join Raitt for this leg of the tour, sat in with the headliner on multiple occasions. The standout invitation was for “Marriage Made in Hollywood,” a song Brady co-wrote with Michael O’Keefe, Raitt’s ex-husband. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Bonnie Raitt at Grand Opera House, The World Is A Beautiful Place at First Unitarian Church, and Brian Setzer Orchestra at Strand Capitol

Bonnie Raitt | Photo via www.facebook.com/officialbonnieraitt
Bonnie Raitt | Photo via www.facebook.com/officialbonnieraitt

Wilmington’s Grand Opera House will welcome rock and roll / country icon Bonnie Raitt to its stage tonight. The ten-time Grammy Award winner released her 16th album Slipstream in April of last year, and American Songwriter called it “her best album in years”. During her 40-year career, Raitt has enjoyed remarkable success and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. Get tickets to the event here and watch the video for her classic hit “I Can’t Make You Love Me” below.

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Tonight’s concert picks: Bonnie Raitt, Chill Moody, Keane, Toy Soldiers, Birdie Busch

Tonight’s concert picks include:

WXPN Welcomes Bonnie Raitt to the Academy Of Music with special guest Mavis Staples. 8PM; tickets are $45.50-$85.50

WXPN Welcomes Keane to the Merriam Theatre with special guests Mystery Jets. 8PM; tickets are $35-$45.00

Birdie Busch with Adam & Dave’s Bloodline at Morgan’s Pier. 5PM; the show is free but you must be 21+.

Goodnight Lights with The Quelle Source and The Bailey Hounds at Johnny Brenda’s. Doors at 8PM; Show at 9PM; tickets to the 21+ show are $10.

Chill Moody at The Fire. 9PM; tickets to the 21+ show are $10

Toy Soldiers at World Cafe Live. Doors at 7PM; Show at 8PM. Advance tickets are $10 + processing fee in advance; $15 + processing fee at the door.

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Watch Bonnie Raitt’s new video for “Right Down The Line” (new album out today; playing Academy of Music in June)

Bonnie Raitt releases her new album, Slipstream, today. The Joe Henry-produced album is her first new studio album in seven years and features covers of songs by Bob Dylan; it also includes songwriting contributions from Randall Bramblett, Al Anderson of NRBQ, Paul Brady, Loudon Wainwright III, and Henry. Raitt plays at the Academy Of Music on Saturday, June 16th, with special guest Mavis Staples. Go here for tickets and more information about the show. Below, watch Bonnie’s video for “Right Down The Line.”

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Bonnie Raitt playing Academy of Music in June

Bonnie Raitt is releasing her first new album in seven years called Slipstream on April 10th. The album was produced by Joe Henry and features covers of several Bob Dylan songs and a reggae-tinged version of “Right Down The Line” originally recorded by Gerry Rafferty. Today she announced a tour which brings her to Philly on Saturday, June 16th at the Academy Of Music. Mavis Staples will open the show. Ticket sales are “TBD.” Click here for more information on the Academy of Music website.

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Listen to Amos Lee’s beautifully aching new ballad “Hang On, Hang On”

Amos Lee
Amos Lee | photo Brantley Gutierrez | courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia singer-songwriter and XPN favorite Amos Lee released the second single to his upcoming album, My New Moon, out August 31st via Dualtone Records. The slower, ballad-like track appears seventh out of ten tracks on the new album, and is a change of pace from the previously released “No More Darkness, No More Light.”

The new single, titled “Hang On, Hang On,” finds Lee drawing on personal experiences, rather than elsewhere on the album where Lee touches on finding strength in others – from the Parkland survivors to the relationships built through Musicians on Call. From a press release, we learned the track is set around the last night Amos spent with his grandmother. The lyrics “I would’ve stayed forever, but it didn’t work out that way” ache a little extra with this in mind. Continue reading →

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Listen to Amos Lee’s new single “No More Darkness, No More Light,” watch his interview with XPN’s Helen Leicht

Amos Lee
Amos Lee | photo Brantley Gutierrez | courtesy of the artist

Last month Philadelphia singer-songwriter Amos Lee announced his seventh studio albumMy New Moon, which comes out on August 31st via Dualtone Records. While initial word indicated that the songwriting was going to be lyrically very personal, his first single from the project — premiered today on Billboard — finds Lee turing his gaze to more universal issues and emotions, spurred on by current events.

“No More Darkness, No More Light” bounces and bops to an highlife-inspired arrangement as Lee sings about making one’s way through troubling times in search of a better world. The song was written, and Lee was in the process of recording it, when 17 people were killed in the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Lee re-wrote the lyrics overnight

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Warm up for the XPN 5K with this playlist from Team Rave On founder Debbie Blum

Team Rave On | photo courtesy of Debbie Blum

This fall, WXPN will hold our fifth annual 5K Run to raise awareness and funds for the Musicians On Call program.

Last year was a very special run in memory of XPN supporter Andy Katz, who passed away on October 14, 2016. His wife Debbie Blum, along with his sons Aaron (20) and Daniel (18), began Team Rave On with family and friends to celebrate Andy’s life. It was an amazing day for everyone, and after the run, Debbie’s mother, Gwen, became a MOC volunteer guide and is working at St. Christopher’s Hospital.

Team Rave On will be joining us again this October. I asked Debbie to put together a list of songs that celebrate Andy, an XPN member, lover of music and a believer in the healing power of music. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Paul Simon’s farewell tour will come to Wells Fargo Center in June

Paul Simon | photo by Jessica Gilbert | courtesy of the artist

Earlier this winter, singer-songwriter icon Paul Simon announced that he would hit the road for the final time in 2018. Today, he shared his itinerary for Homeward Bound – The Farewell Tour, which kicks off in May on the West Coast and makes its way to Philadelphia on June 16th, where Simon will headline the Wells Fargo Center. Tickets to the show go on sale on Saturday, February 10th at 10 a.m., and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →