“Slipstream” (Redwing) marks
’s first album since 2005 and her first independent release in a career that stretches back to the early ‘70s. The album is a composite of two recording sessions, one a self-produced effort with her road band and the other a riskier, more rewarding collaboration with producer Joe Henry and his hand-picked studio musicians.
On the Henry-produced material, Raitt plunges into the deep end of four richly atmospheric ballads – two
The rest of the album is fleshed out with largely uptempo, self-produced blues-rock (and one reggae-flavored ringer, a cover of Gerry Rafferty’s “Right Down the Line”) that showcases the supple strength of Raitt’s road band. Her still-fearsome slide-guitar playing redeems a light-hearted toss-off such as “Split Decision,” and channels the raw vitality of her old friend
It's an understandable decision given Raitt's history as a road warrior. But the Henry-produced songs are so accomplished, the sonic chemistry so enveloping and hypnotic, that one wishes Raitt had taken the entire album in this direction.
3 stars (out of 4)