The things Bonnie Raitt does best are the things she’s done best for the past 40 years, namely expressing a soulful sinewy sound that reflects her lifelong devotion and affection for blues and R&B. And indeed, why alter the formula if it’s served you so well for so long? Granted, there’s little here that distinguishes Dig In Deep from most of its predecessors save the lack of an obvious hit single, the kind that brought her album Nick of Time numerous Grammys in 1990 and suddenly cemented her status as a mainstream star. Little matter though; Raitt was never meant to follow the usual pop precepts. Her allegiance to the blues has remained unwavering, even after that onslaught of success.
Suffice it to say then, Dig In Deep doesn’t disappoint. Songs such as “Unintended Consequence,” “Need You Tonight” and “What You’re Doing’ To Me” reflect the pure unfettered sassiness that drapes her style. And lest anyone think she doesn’t rock with a vengeance, songs like “Shain’ Shakin’ Shakes” are all it takes to prove the naysayers wrong. But Bonnie’s also a tender singer as well, and here again she shows her strengths on “All Along With Something to Say,” “The Ones We Shouldn’t Be” and “You’ve Changed My Mind,” a trio of tender ballads that find Raitt substituting her soul for spunk, leaving no doubt as to her heart’s intents.
An all star crew — George Marinelli, Mike Finnigan, Rick Fataar, Hutch Hutchinson, Jon Cleary and Ryan Freeland — add steady support, with Joe Henry,Maia Sharp and Andrew McCuller and Patrick Warren chipping in on occasion as well. Yet only the photo-lined booklet and glossy album art hint at more elaborate designs. Anyone who knows Raitt knows how to rate this one as well.