Soul R&B Royalty
BETTYE LAVETTE is starting 2015 with a big bang. The inimitable and legendary R&B songstress is coming out with a new album—Worthy—on January 27 and on a new label—Cherry Red (distributed in the US by MVD Entertainment). Worthy reunites her with Joe Henry, this time around with the two of them co-producing.
Bettye will be world premiering selections from Worthy at the renowned Café Carlyle in New York City starting January 27-31 and again February 3-7 (celebrating her 69th birthday at the show on the 29th). The prestigious residency kicks off a 4 month promotional tour of North America, the UK, and Europe, including stops in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, and Amsterdam.
On Worthy, BETTYE revisits Dylan with the opening track “Unbelievable,” with a funky urgency introduced into the song, not present in the original. On “When I Was a Young Girl,” she slides effortlessly into a slinky groove which Chris Youlden of Savoy Brown probably never imagined. “Bless Us All” is as relevant now as when Mickey Newbury wrote it decades ago, while her rendition of Joe Henry’s own “Stop” is jazzy, soulful and reminds one not to dare try to stop her. The musicians on the album all brought their A-game to the plate: Jay Bellerose on drums and percussion, Doyle Bramall II on guitar, Chris Bruce on bass and Patrick Warren on Piano, Hammond organ and Chamberlin.
Worthy is comprised of a special selection of songs making for an extremely reflective, visceral, yet at the same time, vulnerable album. “Where a Life Goes” is a conversation between Bettye and her deceased sister. When she sings the Lennon/McCartney track “Wait” and the title track “Worthy,” Bettye is at her most insightful and satisfied. Perhaps, the most heart-wrenching tunes of the lot may be “Undamned” filled with quiet desperation, and “Just Between You and Me and the Wall You’re a Fool,” on which she wears her tattered and battered heart on her sleeve.
Worthy will be released on CD, vinyl, and a “Deluxe Edition” which will contain both the CD and a live DVD of Bettye’s June 2014 concert at the Jazz Café in London.
This is BETTYE LAVETTE in 2015. She is Worthy and satisfied.
“With each of her albums improving on the last, Thankful ‘n’ Thoughtful continues the upward curve. It is, possibly, the best set of songs she’s ever recorded.” -BBC Music
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“Classic soul singing doesn’t get any better.” -New York Times
“Imagine Otis Redding’s pleading style of Southern R&B rendered with Tina Turner’s leathery lungs, delivered with more emotion than Janis Joplin could summon.” -Jon Bream, Star Tribune
“In a career spanning 40 years she has maintained a level of almost unrivaled quality and consistency, wherever she recorded, for whatever label.” -John Ridley, soul historian
“Bettye LaVette now rivals Aretha Franklin as this generation’s most vital soul singer” –New York Times
“The sexiest female vocalist alive” – Esquire