Two time Grammy nominee and contender for the crown of Queen of R&B, Betty LaVette, is making her way out west next week for some shows up and down the coast.
On Wednesday, Oct. 10, Bettye will do a book signing and questions nad answer with co-writer David Ritz at the Los Angeles Public Library, while the following night, October 11, Bettye will make her long overdue on stage debut at the legendary Troubadour in West Hollywood, where she used to leave tapes for the club owner back in the early 70’s when she resided in CA.
Meanwhile, the clip for her rendering of Dylan’s “Everything Is Broken” is now up on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AttVSJpAb2M. Bettye also performed the song last week on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Reviews of her CD and book have been stellar including the New York Daily News, which noted of A Woman Like Me: “Over the last decade, LaVette has arisen as the Grandma Moses of Soul.
After 40 years of false starts, near-misses and broken promises, LaVette broke through at the improbable age of 59. She did so with a series of recordings on the label Anti, which turned all the pent-up fury, craft and wisdom of a lifetime into revelatory art…The outlines of LaVette’s story have been told many times before — from her recordings as a burly-voiced teenager in pre-Motown Detroit to the long string of aborted record deals that followed. But the details of her tale prove so crazed, quotable and laugh-out-loud funny, I found myself dog-earing many more pages in her book than I left pristine. Any book that begins with a vicious pimp dangling its protagonist by her right foot from a 20-story building threatens to use up its drama too fast. But “A Woman Like Me” never lets up in its salty detail.”
Paste Magazine noted of Thankful N’ Thoughtful: “Bettye LaVette’s voice, sanded raw and consumed by emotion is a powerful witness: strong, down and above all, real. Those attributes infuse Thankful N’ Thoughtful with a truth in being, a delivery rendered from experience that declares ‘I know’ just by the way she squares up the songs. Again, drawing on a canon of known rock and pop songs—including Dylan, Tom Waits, Sly and the Family Stone and Neil Young—LaVette deepens their meaning with a slow-burn commitment to the lyrical nuance and the emotional resonance in the melodies. Just when we’re sure we know these songs, the gasoline washed alto shows us how subtle the depths actually are.”
Elsewhere, the New York Times stated (in a second review of Thankful N’ Thoughtful): “…the music grounds itself in 1960s soul, staunchly chugging along as Ms. LaVette’s bruised, caustic, adamant voice plunges into every line, coming through the songs as an unflinching survivor.”