Friday, October 5, 2012

Bettye LaVette -Thankful N' Thoughtful (2012)

“Ms. LaVette now rivals Aretha Franklin as her generation’s most vital soul singer. She uses every scrape, shout and break in her raspy voice, with a predator’s sense of timing, to seize the drama of a song.” - New York Times

Bettye LaVette celebrates her 50th anniversary in the music business (note: can someone check this - there must be some mistake!) with the release of her new album, "Thankful N' Thoughtful", on ANTI- Records - as well as the publication of her long-time-coming book, variously described as 'engrosing', 'riviting', 'hair-raising' and only suitable for over 18s - the tell-it-like-it-is autobiography: "A Woman Like Me", co-written with David Ritz, the highly-regarded author of books on R&B legends such as Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye.
"Thankful N' Thoughtful" turned out to be a companion piece to her autobiography as while she was writing the book, she was also recording the songs.

 "When most other artists do them, they’re cover versions. But when Bettye LaVette does them, they’re “interpretations”, such is her talent for getting inside a song and extracting a depth of soul and meaning that might even surprise the original artists.[...]It’s a marvellous, spine-tingling journey around some not-so-obvious American songs, and also a stunning tutorial in different American music styles, strung together by LaVette’s sensuous singing. 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." - Lloyd Bradley (BBC Music

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