Bonnie Raitt tops Glenn Frey tribute at Americana Assn.'s Troubadour show

In addition to the Glenn Frey tribute coming at Monday’s Grammy Awards by his Eagles bandmates Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Timothy B. Schmit, Bernie Leadon and longtime friend Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt will headline the Americana Music Assn.’s salute to Frey at its annual pre-Grammy concert Saturday at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, where members of the Eagles originally met and often performed.

Raitt will be joined at Saturday’s sold-out show by a slate of country and indie rock performers including Brandi Carlile, Lee Ann Womack, Jack Tempchin, Glen Hansard, Jack Ingram, John Paul White, Sam Outlaw, Nicki Bluhm, Ruby Amanfu and others whose participation was still being finalized at press time, AMA president Jed Hilly told The Times on Thursday.

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For the Record
Feb. 11, 9:07 p.m.: An earlier version of this article misspelled Lee Ann Womack's name as LeAnn Womack and Nicki Bluhm's first name as Nikki.
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Additionally, musician-turned-photographer Henry Diltz, who documented much of the L.A.-Hollywood-Laurel Canyon music scene in the 1960s, ‘70s, ‘80s and beyond, is scheduled to talk about his friendship with Frey at the show.

“We were coming up with another theme, but when Glenn passed, I was talking with my partner Michelle Aquilato and she said: ‘We need to honor Glenn. He wrote so many great songs,’ which is so true. It was part of the soundtrack of part of our lives. There are so many songs that you don’t even realize that you know all of the words to.”

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Hilly said the Americana organization sought and received the blessing of Frey’s widow, Cindy Frey, the other members of the Eagles and their longtime manager Irving Azoff to turn the event into a Frey tribute.

“If they had said no, we wouldn’t have done it,” he said. “But they said yes, and I’m humbled by that.”

The house band for the event will include several musicians who have been adjunct members of the Eagles touring band or who performed with Frey on solo projects, among them drummer-percussionist Scott Crago, keyboardist-accordionist Michael Thompson, guitarist Danny Grenier and the band Venice, which will provide backup vocals.

The Eagles' amalgam of country, rock, folk and R&B music represents an important part of the foundation of what emerged in the 1990s as Americana music.

“The other obvious motivation for doing this is that they started at the Troubadour,” Hilly said. “I think Don met Glenn at the bar.”

It was out of the music community that congregated at the Troubadour that singer Linda Ronstadt and her manager-producer John Boylan hired Frey and Henley, then guitarist-banjo player Bernie Leadon and bassist Randy Meisner, to serve as her backup band, out of which the Eagles emerged in the early 1970s.

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