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Picks and Pans Review: Road Tested

updated 12/04/1995 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/04/1995 01:00AM

Bonnie Raitt

The sweet sampling on this two-disc live set ranges from bluesy brazen rockers ("Something to Talk About," "Love Sneakin' Up on You") to plangent ballads ("Angel from Montgomery," "Have a Heart"). The only quibble Raitt fans may have is with what isn't here—for instance all those great torch songs from the '70s, like "Since I Fell for You," "Love Has No Pride" and "Everybody's Cryin' Mercy."

Over the years, in addition to building up a rich repertoire, Bonnie has apparently been busy making friends, and a number of them (Jackson Browne, Bruce Hornsby and Bryan Adams) turned up to lend a hand on her 1995 summer tour, during which this recording was made. The best duet: "Rock Steady," on which Adams' foggy voice and Raitt's smoky style blend together in captivating fashion. Bonnie has some surprises up her sleeve as well—including a brawny version of Talking Heads' "Burning Down the House," at the end of which she shouts, "Thank you so much for comin'. I want to thank my band." That song and its incendiary sentiment make an appropriate set finale. Raitt never pitches her music at a five-alarm intensity, but her shows—and these discs—simmer with a slow, steady heat. (Capitol)

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