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"Petrified" Adele Wins Over Bonnaroo Crowd

June 13, 2008 4:45 PM ET

Early afternoons at Bonnaroo offer the best chances to catch up-and-coming acts and upstart British singer Adele delivered one of the day's higlights. Like Amy Winehouse, Adele Adkins is a neo-soul singer and a graduate of Winehouse's alma mater, the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology. But that's really where the comparisons end, as her songs veer more towards mellow acoustic tunes and bigger rock ballads. During her hour-long set, she showed off her huge, Aretha-style pipes. Most impressively, the twenty-year-old seemed totally unfazed by her performance, belting out songs like the solo acoustic number "Crazy For You" and a cover of Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love" as if she was chatting with her friends about doing the laundry. Still, Adele admitted to the smallish crowd that she was nervous about performing. "I'm petrified of festivals," she said. "I thought there would be only ten people here, so thank you for coming."

Rolling Stone at Bonnaroo 2008

Bonnaroo 2008 in Photos

MGMT's Guide to Hippie Dances at Bonnaroo

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
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