CHICAGO — Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal are planning a hot summer together.
Even though they’ve known each other for decades, they will tour as a double bill for the first time beginning Aug. 6 in Williamsport, Pa. They plan on appearing in each other’s sets and recreating classic duets from some of the great duos in music history, like Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.
“There will be a lot of heat, because Taj and I love each other,” Raitt said recently during a joint interview via phone from San Francisco. “Taj and I don’t date so there will be a lot of flirting and a lot of power loading between the female end and the male end, and there will be a lot of sparks flying.”
Raitt said she had to be a grown woman before she had what she calls “the pounce for ounce” to share a stage with Mahal. He disputes that: “Oh, I don’t know about that. You’ve just been busy.”
The BonTaj Roulet tour will donate a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales to charity, and fans can choose where that money goes. Visitors to the tour site at www.bontaj.com can vote to support safe energy, environmental protection, social justice or blues and music education.
Both Raitt and Mahal have been involved in various causes over the years and they wanted to include that activist aspect in the tour.
“What the future of the planet and music and art and all of it is sharing, it’s diversity,” Mahal said.
Raitt said people ask them all the time what’s the state of the blues. “As long as men and women keep not getting along, we’re going to have a job,” she said.
“Even when they get along, we’re going to have a job,” Mahal added with a laugh.
On the Net: http://www.bontaj.com