Soul R&B Royalty
Three time Grammy nominee Bettye LaVette is no mere singer. Bettye is an interpreter of the highest order. Whether the song originated as country, rock, pop, jazz or blues, when she gets through with it, it is pure R&B. She gets inside a song and shapes and twists it to convey all of the emotion that can be wrought from the lyric.
Bettye is one of very few of her contemporaries who were recording during the birth of soul music in the 60s and is still creating vital recordings today. Her live performances are a must see. She makes her audience feel whatever she is singing about, often leaving grown men in tears.
In January of 2015, Bettye LaVette released her newest, and perhaps most intimate group of songs yet. The CD is titled Worthy, and has received rave reviews. She reunited with producer Joe Henry, 10 years after they recorded her breakthrough CD, I’ve Got My Own Hell To Raise. On Worthy, she also co-produced the CD. It consists of songs written by Bob Dylan, Jagger/Richards, Lennon/McCartney, Mickey Newbury, Joe Henry, and others. The title track was written by Beth Nielsen Chapman & Mary Gauthier.
She spent the first four months of 2015 on a whirlwind, worldwide promotional tour; this time, with a twist. Bettye explains: “Usually, I pick favorites from a new release and incorporate them into my show when I am on a promotional tour. I like this CD so much, I performed the entire thing, from top to bottom, something that I have never done before.” She is now back to incorporating songs from throughout her 53 year career into the show. You’ll hear songs from the 60s & 70s and songs from her CDs that have been released since her resurgence in the new millenium.
As Joe Henry says; “With every song on Worthy, Bettye finds the thread that first will unravel it. Then she stitches it all back together until it fits her taut frame and fierce stride, until it bends to meet her; until each song’s story is somehow, miraculously, telling her own.”
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
“One of the strongest, most individual interpretive vocalists of the 21st Century” – All Music
“LaVette seems determined to isolate the basic character of the material. She takes these songs down to street level, stripping them of everything inessential in order to find out what they have to say about life or love.” – L.A. Times