Bettye Lavette © KLRU photo by Scott Newton

Bettye LaVette

PHOTOS

There are few vocalists today that have transgressed various musical genres with the same flare and grace of Bettye LaVette. This soulful songstress started her career at age 16 and through the years her repertoire has included blues, country and rock.

Soul Patrol writes, “Bettye LaVette is a 100 percent, pure unadulterated soul singer. If it’s comparisons you are looking for, just think of the space right between Etta James and Aretha Franklin and that’s right where you will find Bettye LaVette. There is POWER in this woman’s voice!”

Tonight, the legendary singer performs her classic hits and songs from her release, The Scene of the Crime. For this CD, LaVette teamed up with Southern rock-soul team the Drive-By Truckers to record songs from artists including Willie Nelson and Elton John, adding a personal touch. “LaVette is a proud interpreter…Here she handles Willie Nelson’s “Somebody Pick Up My Pieces” like one of Ray Charles’ legendary country excursions, and tackles Elton John’s “Talking Old Soldiers” with the kind of gritty gusto John could never muster”[Pitchfork].

PopMatters writes, “Scene of the Crime has moments of profundity that are unique to LaVette’s particular method of owning a song. [It] is music without a shelf life. Gut-wrenching performances never go out of style.” Whatever the song or style, LaVette brings soul to the counter. “I’m a soul singer,” LaVette said. “I don’t know how to sing any other way. If it’s me and my singing you like, this is what I’m singing today.”

EPISODE LIST