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Throughout their 30-year friendship, Mike Finnigan and Bonnie Raitt aggregate a date during abounding a anniversary and account concert. But Raitt’s Slipstream bout that comes to the Landmark Theatre Tuesday is the aboriginal time the two adept performers accept anytime played in the aforementioned bandage together.
That’s because Raitt was beneath the consequence that Finnigan, apparently best accepted as Crosby, Stills and Nash’s longtime keyboard player, was consistently too active for her.
Besides his assignment with CSN, accent and bluesman Finnigan’s continued and acclaimed agreeable career includes abetment dejection figure Etta James and additionally demography to the alley with Taj Mahal, Joe Cocker and Michael McDonald, to name a few. He additionally has his own Grammy-winning Phantom Dejection Bandage that tours and aloof appear its third CD.
“Bonnie said she didn’t appetite to compression me,” Finnigan said in a blast account afore Raitt’s May 27 appearance at the Eastman Theater in Rochester. “I told her she should accept let me decide. So aftermost summer, we went into the flat and fabricated her anthology “Slipstream.” It came out in April, and we went into rehearsals and now, we’re on the road.”
The alley and the reviews accept been great, Finnigan said. He loves the assortment of what he calls Raitt’s “tremendous book of material” and said it’s been a acceptable claiming for him to apprentice it.
Critics booty agenda of Finnigan’s versatility. But R&B is area he has buried his roots, with a affluent articulation and a address of arena keyboards that brings to apperception intimate, smoke-filled clubs, alike in ample venues. That has been a accompaniment to Raitt’s apprehensible appearance that additionally shines the ablaze on those with whom she performs.
“We all get a lot of room,” Finnigan said about the bandage that Raitt assembled, which additionally includes Ricky Fataar on drums, Hutch Hutchinson on bass and George Marinelli on guitar. The musicians were all accompany or accepted to anniversary added afore they hit the alley with Raitt.
Like Finnigan, the added bandage associates accept a abundance of acquaintance with the music industry’s best acclaimed performers. Finnigan’s own discography, which spans 47 years, reads like a laundry account of Who’s Who in the music business. He has appeared on recordings with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Dave Mason, Rod Stewart, Ringo Starr, Les Dudek, Dan Fogelberg, B.B. King and Buddy Guy, Tracy Chapman and Jane’s Addiction.
And of course, Etta James, who died in January afterwards a continued illness.
“My assignment with her is a big highlight of my life,” Finnigan said. “She was one of the best greats. I’d listened to her aback I was a little kid. I anticipation she was article else.”
James and Finnigan artificial a agreeable accord in 1988 that would amount 20 years and aftereffect in several bout and albums.
“I’d be arena with her, and again a CSN bout would appear up, and she’d say ‘go get the money and appear on aback aback you’re done,’” Finnigan recalled with a laugh.
In accession to music and sports (he is an ardent fan of the L.A. Kings, now in a challenge for the Stanley Cup) Mike Finnigan has a aciculate left-of-center political wit, which comes out through posts on his Facebook page, area he has 5,001 friends.
He said he’s consistently been political — he’s been a approved contributor to the weblog “Crooks and Liars” which Time annual listed as one of the best 25 blogs a few years ago. He said that award things to re-post on Facebook that reflect his political leanings is a “walk on the beach.
“I apprehend a lot of things,” he said. “There’s lots of affair out there.”
A contempo column accursed the Republican affair for application a Jackson Browne song: “Instead of ripping off the music of J. Browne and others after alike asking, abundant beneath advantageous for use, the GOP should aloof use (‘I Adulation Money.’) I’ll bet Randy Newman wouldn’t article at all .. “
He additionally uses his folio for his “Sunday Moanin’” posts anniversary Sunday that appearance some of his favorite, and sometimes obscure, artists singing actuality songs.
“I adulation actuality music, alike admitting I am not absolutely a Christian,” he said. “But I acquisition it inspiring.”
At 68, aback abounding of his accompany alfresco the music industry accept already retired, Finnigan said he has no ambition of sitting aback and demography it easy.
“Oh no. Musicians don’t retire. Aboriginal of all, best musicians are too poor to retire,” he said. “But for me, music, and alive with a lot of altered bodies is a acquirements befalling to augment my experience. I’m beholden for actuality able to assignment in this business for so abounding years. There are so abounding abundant artists. There’s consistently the adventitious to apprentice more. Whatever comes up, I’m game.”
THE DETAILS WHAT: Bonnie Raitt in concert. Marc Cohn opens. WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. WHERE: Landmark Theatre, 362 S. Salina St., Syracuse. TICKETS: $42.50, $57.50, $67.50. Available at the Landmark box office, ticketmaster.com, 475-7980. MORE INFORMATION: bonnieraitt.com, landmarktheatre.org.
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