OK... I must say... seeing Bonnie Raitt and Lyle Lovett on the same stage at the CMT Crossroads taping last night was absolutely incredible. Definitely makes the highlight reel for 2005 for me.
Loved the room where it was shot at The Factory in Franklin. It had that cozy industrial loft feel and the set was amazing. It was also pretty intimate... I'd guess there weren't more than 200 or so people packed in there. I'm sure it will look great on TV.
Lyle and Bonnie were on stage together throughout the entire taping. She's so tiny! And, he is such a class act. They are obviously good friends. Talk about communicating musically! They were locked in all night and so were the bands.
First, they performed a few of Lyle's songs with his band: My Baby Don't Tolerate, In My Own Mind, North Dakota... and one more that I can't think of right now.
Then they performed a few of Bonnie's songs with her band: I Don't Want Anything to Change, Something to Talk About, Thing Called Love... hmmm and the other escapes me again. (Drat!)
They combined members of both bands to perform "Do Right Woman" as the last song. They ended up doing three takes of it... they wanted to get it just right. All THREE takes were amazing. Very cool.
Bonnie's voice was absolutely flawless. She has an unmistakable playing style that permeated all the songs. And... what a spunky lady. I'll bet she's a straight shooter, too. Besides that, she also gives props to the songwriter constantly. Bonnie said at one point in the night that she considers herself a fan of great songwriters... and that she wanted to get it right with so many of the "authors" in the audience. Love that.
Lyle's voice and grace on stage are impecable... I've been impressed with him every time I've seen him. When he sings and talks, you feel like he's singing / talking right to you. His songs are so expressive. Love the way he writes and delivers his songs. Yum.
Lyle's spectacular band was made up of Viktor Krauss (upright bass), Russ Kunkel (Drums), Matt Rollings (keys), John Hagen(cello), Mitch Watkins (guitar)and James Gilmer(percussion). He didn't have the horns / background singers with him on the gig, but it was great nonetheless. These players take Lyles incredible songs to the next level. They play with precision and feel and they are so locked in. One of the coolest parts of the night was Russ was playing a cajon (that he was using as his drum throne- like JTC does) while James played the cabasa inside that beat during North Dakota. They were so precise and there was so much space... but it didn't sound stiff. It felt like a heartbeat. And, Matt Rollings was weaving his delicate piano moves in and out and between those beats. Incredible. I could feel myself out on the prarie in North Dakota as they played.
Bonnie's groovey feeling band was made-up of George Marinelli (Guitar/Vocals), James 'Hutch' Hutchinson (Bass/Vocals), Jon Cleary (Keyboards), and Ricky Fataar (Drums). When they hit the stage the vibe was loosley tight... if you know what I mean. They have an incredible feel like Lyle's band, but in a completely different way. I wish I could explain it better, but they communicate musically so well together. They are one instrument when they play together... they read Bonnie like a book (and vice versa).
I'm sure the order and presentation of the night will change-up after the edit / post process is complete... but that is the gist of the set list. Can't wait to see it in its final form on CMT.