This was com­posed by Chris Smither (no, I’d nev­er heard of him ei­ther) but was a hit for, and is now sort of a trade­mark of, Bon­nie Raitt. Bonnie’s record­ed a lot of good mu­sic over the years, but the thing with her is you need to see her play live, it’s at an­oth­er lev­el en­tire­ly.

Bonnie Raitt

Bon­nie is a tune­ful, con­vinc­ing, loud blues singer (lis­ten to Love Me Like a Man, for ex­am­ple), and is al­so a daz­zling gui­tarist. In par­tic­u­lar she has this grit­ty, tex­tured slide-guitar tone that ab­so­lute­ly no­body else get­s. This was brought home to me one time when I was at a con­cert and the open­ing act was led by her band’s key­board play­er, and they weren’t bad at al­l, funk and soul and en­er­gy. But Bon­nie came on to play their last tune, just played along on gui­tar in the band, and all of a sud­den it was like they turned the vol­ume up to eleven, there was this huge growl­ing beast lurk­ing in the cen­ter of the band’s sound.

But on Love Me Like A Man, she nor­mal­ly drops the slide and fin­ger­picks her break­s, which don’t have the raw in­ten­si­ty but are re­al­ly just aw­ful­ly grace­ful.

I have an­oth­er con­nec­tion with Ms Rait­t. In 1989 I wrote a “benchmark”, a com­put­er pro­gram which ex­ists to test how fast com­put­ers can do a par­tic­u­lar task  —  in this case, read­ing and writ­ing da­ta to and from files on disk. Be­cause this kind of pro­gram ex­ists to find bot­tle­necks in com­put­er sys­tem­s, and be­cause Bon­nie is so great with a bot­tle­neck gui­tar, I called the pro­gram Bon­nie, and peo­ple are still run­ning it.

Now as for the words… are we in­to dan­ger­ous ter­ri­to­ry here? There is a breed of male song­writ­ers who might have got­ten them­selves deep in­to the sex­ist weeds start­ing with a ti­tle like this. (And in fac­t, the orig­i­nal ti­tle was “Love Her Like a Man”). No, I don’t be­lieve so at al­l; but give it a lis­ten and see what you think.

This is part of the Song of the Day se­ries (back­ground).

Links · Spo­ti­fy playlist. This tune on Spo­ti­fy, iTunes, Ama­zon. Now for a live-video treat: First, very young at Austin Ci­ty Lim­its, then a much more grown-up ver­sion; you wouldn’t want to miss ei­ther. Lis­ten to those gui­tar break­s!

author · Dad · software · colophon · rights

March 08, 2018
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