Silver Lining

Bonnie starts her own Big Easy party every April, a riot of diverse roots-music sounds known as Jazz Fest busts out in New Orleans; Bonnie Raitt's superb Silver Lining sounds like it could have been recorded in the middle of it. Raitt and producers Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake clearly had fun together in the studio on this one. This is an album that makes you want to boogie, from the Big Easy shuffle of "Fool's Game," with its Dr. John-meets-the-Meters vibe, to the saucy Memphis Minnie-style "Gnawin' on It," featuring bluesman Roy Rogers going neck and neck with Raitt on slide guitar. "Monkey Business" lays on the funk, with honking baritone sax courtesy of Los Lobos' Steve Berlin, while "I Can't Help You Now" recalls creamy 1960s soul. A nod to the African core of the blues, "Back Around," features the lilting guitar work of Habib Koite. Taking the tempo down, Raitt turns David Gray's "Silver Lining" into a hymn of hope. Throughout all the various textures, Raitt puts forth her signature soulful vocal delivery and gutsy bottleneck chops, once again proving herself queen of the Americana road.