I'm a huge fan of Bonnie Raitt, a blues singer-songwriter and slide guitar player with a unique blend of talent and personality. She's written her share of memorable songs, like "Give It Up or Let Me Go" and "Nick of Time," but her most enduring singing performances are definitive cover versions of other songwriters, including "Love Has No Pride" (Eric Kaz), "Angel from Montgomery" (John Prine), "Love Me Like A Man" (Chris Smither), and "Thing Called Love" (John Hiatt).

Bonnie's heart and soul are in the blues. Check out this performance of "In the Mood" with John Lee Hooker (on our Home Page for the next 2 weeks, and then in our Featured Artist Archive). As you can see, she's totally convincing and riveting as a blues singer, and second to none as a slide guitar player.

Bonnie brings this blues sensibility to a wide range of material, from the folk and country flavor of the songs mentioned above to such classic R&B as "I Know (You Don't Love Me No More)" and "What Is Success?" Like all true originals, you can always recognize her style immediately: simultaneously cool, as in relaxed, and hot, as in sexy; both "one of the guys" in her commitment and musicianship and "all woman" in her style and expression. Although her voice isn't technically exceptional, she's a great singer because of her combination of timbre, phrasing, and emotional resonance.

Bonnie released her debut album in 1971 and is still going strong in 2012 with her critically well-received latest release, Slipstream. Her Warner Brothers albums from the 1970s are most critics' and my personal favorites, but her commercial breakthrough and multiple Grammys didn't arrive until her Capitol albums between 1989 and 2003. Bonnie was inducted into to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in March 2000.

You can see which 6 of Bonnie's songs I picked for the Alley Timeline here and which 8 of her albums I've got in the CD Database here. A wonderful 1976 clip of her performing "Love Me Like A Man" will be on our Home Page for the next 2 weeks.

Are you, too, a Bonnie Raitt fan? Which phase of her career do you prefer, her earlier records for Warner Bros. (1971-1986), like "Love Me Like A Man," "Love Has No Pride," "Guilty," and "Angel From Montgomery," or her later records for Capitol (1989-2003), like "Nick of Time," "Thing Called Love," "Something to Talk About," and "I Can't Make You Love Me?" Please share your thought with us.