Generations entwine as the legendary Bonnie Raitt and Brandi Carlile sit down together with Rolling Stone. The two artists, who clearly share a deep admiration, interviewed each other for the publication’s “Musicians on Musicians” series as well as looked back on their careers for “The First Time.”
Watch: Bonnie Raitt and Brandi Carlile reminisce
As well as trading stories about the first times they heard each other’s music, both Raitt and Carlile share insight into the very first record they fell in love with and reminisce about their earliest supporters. One even tells the other how much of an inspiration she has been. “When I get all worked up musically and feel like I’m on the edge,” Carlile tells Raitt. “I tell myself in my mind, I’m like, ‘Calm down and be Bonnie.’”
Raitt reveals that the first person to truly believe in her, and make her feel seen, was a counsellor at summer camp. It was here where she learned a lot about folk music and how to be a woman. “She really saw me and mentored me”, Raitt reflects. “They were my role models, because I didn’t have a sister…I’ll always appreciate women mentoring each other after that.”
Later on in the interview, the duo share their first-ever encounters with their own musical heroes, with Carlile retelling her adventures following The Indigo Girls around on tour and sitting outside their concerts to try and catch picks. Raitt evokes John Hammond Jr. and tells of once opening for him. “He gave me a nod of approval which has lasted my entire life,” she tells.
Although perhaps the sweetest moment comes when Carlile first tells of meeting a hero, referencing the fact that she’s sitting down with Raitt. “I’ll walk out of this room and never be the same.”