Right Down The Line

The song is Scottish (a cover of Gerry Rafferty’s 1977 hit); the groove is Jamaican (a gentle reggae skank); the percussion is Latin (timbales and conga); and the guitar-playing is classic rock by way of Chicago blues. The singer – and, of course, the guitarist – is Bonnie Raitt, who has been turning rootsy sounds into smart, moving and unflashy pop rock for decades. Like the rest of Raitt’s catalog, this tune from her forthcoming Slipstream LP is understated, almost to a fault. But Raitt’s vocal hits just the right note of rueful worldly wisdom – and on her guitar solo, she shreds.

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From The Archives Issue 1150: February 16, 2012