I can't help but notice the unusual blend of blues, country and rock in the music of Bonnie Raitt. Seeing her perform on the Grammy awards broadcast on CBS on February 21, 1990 and receiving four Grammy awards – for Best Album, Pop Vocal, Rock Vocal and shared Traditional Blues with John Lee Hooker – also showed how wide a spectrum her music influence has reached.
I think it takes a unique talent to bridge traditional lines in music areas, but it also takes "guts" to be different, risking music critics' disapproval. Traditional blues, country and rock are great in their own right, but I enjoy some crossover flavor such as Raitt's work if it sounds natural and is not done for the sake of experimentation.
Recently I asked a teenager what his choice of music was. He proudly said, "The only kind of music I like is rap." I went on to ask him what he thought about the influence that rap is having on rock music. His impression to me was, rap is rap and it stands alone without influence and without being influenced.
I may have felt the same way when I was 14 with strong gospel and country roots, but I enjoy writing and listening to other music mediums. However, I respect someone who stays true to their roots and I know several music lovers who do. But I also respect those who are not satisfied with a mold if they have the energy, art and/or the talent to break the mold and express the music they feel.
(Local NSA1 meetings at 7:30 p.m., second and fourth Mondays, at Deer Park Church, 1733 Bardstown Road, Louisville.)