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'Something to Talk About': Bonnie Raitt, Indigo Girls talk about issues at benefit concert

Indigo Girls Amy Ray (left) and Emily Saliers play Bluestem Amphitheater Friday night in a concert to benefit Honor the Earth. Special to The Forum1 / 2
Bonnie Raitt returns to the Bluestem Amphitheater Friday night. Special to The Forum2 / 2

MOORHEAD—When Bonnie Raitt returns to play Bluestem Amphitheater Friday night, she'll have "Something to Talk About."

The singer-guitarist is teaming up with folk duo Indigo Girls and regional singer Annie Humphries for a benefit concert for Honor the Earth. The non-profit, founded by Amy Ray and Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls with author and activist Winona LaDuke, aims to create awareness and support environmental issues and help American Indian communities.

So, if you're someone who thinks artists should not speak their mind about political or social concerns, well, this may not be the show for you.

Then again, these artists' political and social views should come as no surprise to fans. Ray and Saliers started Honor the Earth in 1993 and, both lesbians, have supported LGBT causes for years. Bonnie Raitt has supported Greenpeace, Farm Aid and anti-Apartheid causes, among others, with concerts for decades.

"Activism to us is as important as music," Saliers told The Olympian in March. "They go hand-in-hand."

"We don't really want the shows to be political diatribes," she continued. "We might make a joke or a social commentary between songs, but we're there to play music, to engage people in a joyful gathering."

When Raitt played Bluestem in 2014 she touched on politics throughout the show, saying America was getting into trouble before she played "Help Me Lord" by Zimbabwe artist Oliver Mtukudzi. Later she dedicated "I Will Not Be Broken" to LaDuke who was in the crowd.

"One day, we'll be powering all of our shows with solar energy," Raitt said. "We don't need no oil pipeline."

She backed that up in November when she played a November concert protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline in Fort Yates, North Dakota, that also included Jackson Browne, Jason Mraz, Joel Rafael and John Trudell's Bad Dog.

"I'm proud to be standing in support of the courageous and dedicated Water Protectors at Standing Rock," Raitt said in a statement announcing her appearance.

Humphrey, who will open the show, has been actively campaigning against the six pipelines that run through her Leech Lake (Minnesota) Reservation.

And don't be surprised if pipelines aren't the only issue addressed. Raitt and Salier have both recently spoken out against President Donald Trump and the Indigo Girls' Twitter account, @Indigo_Girls, has recently been suggesting fans donate to help those affected by flooding in Texas.

If You Go

What: Bonnie Raitt with Indigo Girls and Annie Humphrey

When: Music starts at 7 p.m., Friday, with gates opening at 5 p.m.

Where: Bluestem Amphitheater, 801 50th Ave. S., Moorhead

Info: Tickets range from $36.50 to $86.50, plus fees. (866) 300-8300