Thank goodness for Bonnie Raitt. She mixes sharp, punchy rock, R&B and blues with sublime folk ballads, plays a mean slide guitar and has long been the antidote to all those low-talent female stars more into shaking their booties in gimmicky outfits than making potent music. Though she didn’t get mainstream kudos until Nick of Time, in 1989, Raitt’s been around since 1971, doing the festival circuit early on with likeminded rockers such as Little Feat. She’s a groundbreaker among female guitarists, her licks every bit as scorching as Lowell George’s, David Lindley’s or Ry Cooder’s. After a seven-year hiatus, Raitt returns this year with Slipstream, produced by Joe Henry and released on her own label. Typically Raitt, it channels reggae, soul, folk and blues, with a mix of great songs both mellow and rocking.