Personnel: Bonnie Raitt (vocals, acoustic guitar); John Hall (electric guitar, Mellotron); Paul Barr‚re (electric guitar); Lowell George (slide guitar); Ernie Watts (trumpet); Oscar Brashear (flugelhorn); George Bohanon (trombone); Freebo (tuba, fretless bass); Bill Payne (piano); Taj Mahal (acoustic bass guitar); Earl Palmer , Jim Keltner (drums); Sam Clayton (congas); Milt Holland (claves, shaker, timbales); Van Dyke Parks (background vocals).
TAKIN' MY TIME falls between Bonnie Raitt's superb second album GIVE IT UP and the more commercially minded yet less artistically successful STREETLIGHTS. Fortunately, TAKIN' MY TIME has more in common with its predecessor; it contains the same stylistic mixed bag as GIVE IT UP (with the bumps between blues, folk, R&B, and early-'70s soft rock smoothed over beautifully), and the same intensity and focus in performance. Unlike GIVE IT UP, TAKIN' MY TIME contains no originals, but given the consistently high quality of Raitt's selection and treatment of covers, it hardly matters. (Raitt has an uncanny knack for making covers her own).
Raitt looks directly to her influences on a version of the Martha and the Vandellas' R&B classic "You've Been In Love Too Long," which kicks off the album, then looks further back with an acoustic rendition of Mississippi Fred McDowell's "Write Me A Few of Your Lines/Kokomo Blues," proving her grasp of the genre. But the record's highlights encompass more contemporary fare, such as Jackson's Browne's "I Thought I Was A Child," Mose Allison's "Everybody's Cryin' Mercy," and Randy Newman's "Guilty," with a light calypso "Wah She Go Do" balancing out these more plaintive compositions. A stellar cast of musicians, including members of Little Feat, Taj Mahal, and Ernie Watts (who played saxophone for the Rolling Stones) puts TAKIN' MY TIME just behind GIVE IT UP as Raitt's best album.