Bonnie Raitt is a legend. Early in her career, she decided she’d only create the songs she loved, on her own terms, and her career longevity is proof of that gifted precision. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March of 2000. Fast forward twenty-plus years, and Bonnie has just released her 18th full-length studio album, Just Like That.
She got her first record deal when she was just over the legal drinking age. She impressed executives then with her slide and bottleneck guitar skills; time has made her a master. She’s always played the same guitar: a wood grain Fender Stratocaster she named Brownie that she bought in 1969 for $120.
Now in her 70’s, Bonnie has won over a dozen Grammys, most recently for the title track off her latest album. And she is still touring and delighting audiences all over the world.
To celebrate her recent Grammy win we’re revisiting our conversation with Bonnie. Our correspondent Ray Suarez got to talk with Bonnie about the album, coming into her own as an artist, and much more – including what it was like performing the music of John Prine, after the death of her longtime friend and collaborator.
Bonnie is currently on the road, you can check out tour dates here.
Ray also has his own podcast, a memoir about his battle with cancer. It’s called The Things I Thought About When My Body Was Trying to Kill Me – you can get it wherever you listen to podcasts.
This interview originally aired in October of 2022.
About the show
Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.
Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.
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