Thursday, October 15, 2009

Postage Paid: Love Letter

Bonnie Raitt: Love Letter


Bonnie Hayes, like so many others, started life as a musician. In the early 1980s, she fronted a pop-punk band called Wild Combo. But, by 1989, Hayes was looking for other ways to pay the bills. She became a studio musician and songwriter for hire.

In 1989, Bonnie Raitt was a blues musician who had enjoyed a minor hit with a cover of Runaway. Active since the early seventies, Raitt had built a devoted following, but never put up the kind of numbers that major labels like to see.

In 1989, the two Bonnies came together. Hayes was hired to write two songs for the album that would be called Nick of Time. One was Have a Heart. And the other was Love Letter. I find it ironic that the bluesiest song on the album that would finally take Bonnie Raitt up the charts was written by someone whose background was in punk and new wave. But there it is. Love Letter is a smoldering blues love song, and a great showcase for Raitt’s slide guitar playing.

In 1996, Bonnie Hayes went back to Love Letter and recorded her own version. I don’t have it, and I have no idea how good it may be, but if anyone else has it, please feel free to post it in the comments.

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