Search - Bonnie Raitt :: Road Tested

Road Tested
Bonnie Raitt
Road Tested
Genres: Blues, Folk, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #2

A sense of self-confidence permeates Road Tested. If the '70s were marked by promise and the '80s by disappointment, the '90s, thanks to three smash studio albums, have been sheer triumph for Raitt, and she sounds damned s...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Bonnie Raitt
Title: Road Tested
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 3
Label: Capitol
Original Release Date: 11/7/1995
Release Date: 11/7/1995
Album Type: Live
Genres: Blues, Folk, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Styles: Contemporary Blues, Adult Contemporary, Singer-Songwriters, Blues Rock, Singer-Songwriters, Album-Oriented Rock (AOR)
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
Other Editions: Road Tested-Live
UPCs: 724383370528, 0724383607754, 724349261396, 724383370559

A sense of self-confidence permeates Road Tested. If the '70s were marked by promise and the '80s by disappointment, the '90s, thanks to three smash studio albums, have been sheer triumph for Raitt, and she sounds damned satisfied. Her first live recording after 24 years in the business, Road Tested is an all-things-to-all-people effort, unsurprising given its creator has become all things to an awful lot of people. Steadfast favorites, '90s hits, and fresh additions to her repertoire are spiced by guest appearances by Bruce Hornsby, Ruth Brown, Charles Brown, Jackson Browne, Kim Wilson, and Bryan Adams. Raitt is in fine voice, her playing is great, and the band is solid. What's missing? Maybe some of that vanquished brashness and desperation. --Steve Stolder

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Member CD Reviews

Thomas S. from NAUVOO, IL
Reviewed on 10/28/2009...
Bonnie at her best. Most beautiful version of, "I Can't Make You Love Me" ever. Waited for this CD for a long was worth it!
Lisa B. (Lisa) from CTR TUFTNBORO, NH
Reviewed on 1/14/2007...
If you're a Bonnie Raitt fan, this is an A, or at the very least a B+. The only reason I'm posting it is because I have two.

CD Reviews

Truly a live album to talk about.
Themis-Athena | from somewhere between California and Germany | 01/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"She had been around for over two decades, appearing live in the Cambridge, MA jazz and blues clubs long before she had her first recording contract. She had been on stage with all the greats of the business. She had received triple Grammies for her 1989 release "Nick of Time." Her fans, ignited by her fiery live appearances, had been clamoring for a live album for years. Yet, it took Bonnie Raitt 25 years, a personal and professional roller coaster ride, and a succession of three bestselling albums ("Nick of Time" and the early 1990s releases "Luck of the Draw" and "Longing in Their Hearts," all produced by Don Was) until finally, in 1995, a series of live appearances in Oakland, California and Portland, Oregon were recorded and blended together in this album, appropriately titled "Road Tested."

When the project was put together, Bonnie called on a number of friends, with whom she had shared the stage many times before and whose songs, having found a whole new interpretation in her performance, had become staples in her live repertoire long ago. And they all came: R&B legends Ruth and Charles Brown ("The jewels in our crown up here," Raitt commented when introducing them on stage), as well as rockers Bryan Adams, Kim Wilson, Bruce Hornsby and Jackson Browne; in addition to her seasoned stage band, led by Ricky Fataar (drums) and "Hutch" Hutchinson (bass), without whom, to this day, a Bonnie Raitt live appearance is simply unthinkable. And as always, Bonnie was deeply appreciative of everybody who showed up for the occasion: "Special thanks ... for coming to add so much to this long awaited project. This was the time and you were the reason," she wrote in the album's liner notes, thanking her musician friends, and in true style, she did not overlook a single member of the audience, either, commenting that "I'd like to thank you up in the balcony, too; I can see you!"

Short of experiencing Bonnie Raitt live on stage, "Road Tested" is the best evidence why rock and blues music, particularly when performed by an artist with such an unmatched passion for her work and skill as a guitar player as is Raitt, is a vastly different experience than listening to a studio album. The blues is meant to be performed live first and foremost; similar to jazz and gospel (and often, more so than rock music) it depends on the spontaneous interplay of the musicians, and the interaction between stage and audience. This is, of course, most obvious in the songs performed as duets here; but just listen to this album's slow, intense version of "Love Me Like a Man;" one of Raitt's oldest songs - it's from her second album, 1972's "Give It Up" - one of those pieces that would have an uninitiated listener, if any such still exist, become absolutely convinced that they're listening to a recording made in a small Southern blues club, not on a big West coast stage. And indeed, immediately after that song follows Mississippi Fred McDowell's "Kokomo Medley," in the introduction of which Raitt quotes her old friend and touring partner's words: "I do not play no rock'n roll" - and she adds that "when he got to playin', man, that's all the rockin' I'll ever need."

Most of the 22 songs contained on this double album are longtime staples in Raitt's live appearances; and given her extraordinary repertoire, it comes as no surprise that this is an outing jam-packed to the brim with gems. CD No. 1 starts with a quintuple slam: Her opening duet with Bruce Hornsby on John Hiatt's "Thing Called Love," one of the standout hits from "Nick of Time" ("When I wrote the song, I had no idea that a pretty redhead named Bonnie Raitt was going to make it such a big thing one day," Hiatt once commented), followed by "Three Time Loser" (originally published on 1977's "Sweet Forgiveness" and one of her trademark "I've had it" songs with lyrics such as "How many hours [for] your love I'm gonna wait? How many heartaches you really think I'm gonna take?"), the Jazz Crusaders' infectious "Never Make Your Move Too Soon" (featuring Bonnie Raitt with Ruth and Charles Brown and Kim Wilson) and one of the hits from "Luck of the Draw," "Something to Talk About." Other standouts on the first CD are "Have a Heart" (likewise from "Nick of Time") and the heartbreaking ballad "Louise" (from "Sweet Forgiveness").

CD No. 2 begins with the title song of "Longing in Their Hearts," Raitt's last studio album before this live double outing, and a small series from that album and its predecessor "Luck of the Draw" ("Come to Me" and the rocking "Love Sneakin' Up on You"), and then Bonnie and crew get ready to bring down the walls again with the Talkin' Heads' "Burning Down the House." Thereafter it gets quieter once more, with Bonnie Raitt's version of "I Can't Make You Love Me" (and again, Bruce Hornsby on keyboards), after which the daughter of pianist Marjorie Haydock Raitt herself takes the keys for the rocker "Feeling of Falling;" followed by a nonstop succession of duets with all her famous guests: from more good oldfashioned rock'n roll in "I Believe I'm in Love With You" to the hard-driving "Rock Steady" with Bryan Adams (who specifically wrote the song for this appearance with Raitt), the ballad "My Opening Farewell" with that song's creator Jackson Browne, and last but not least, perhaps Raitt's biggest signature song, the John Prine classic "Angel From Montgomery," which here becomes an emotional finale, in which she is joined by all of her guests.

"We were going for something really special," producer Don Was, who would pass the helm to Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake for Raitt's next studio album, 1998's "Fundamental," commented on "Road Tested." And something special they created indeed - only to be surpassed by the experience of an entire evening of a Bonnie Raitt live appearance.

Also recommended:

Give It Up


The Bonnie Raitt Collection"
Great live double album
G. Sawaged | Canada | 02/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The way to hear an artist like Bonnie Raitt perform, is live, and if you can't see her perform live, then this album is the next best thing. Joined by a host of well known talent, including Bryan Adams and Jackson Browne, this is one of the best live albums I have. This is blues/rock at it's best. And the 16 page booklet is packed with photos of her live performance, including all the guest musicians and band. This is an album that any fan of Bonnie Raitt should own."