Bettye LaVette and Drive-By Truckers: The Scene of the Crime (Anti) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

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Bettye LaVette and Drive-By Truckers: I Still Want to be Your Baby
Bettye LaVette and Drive-By Truckers: The Scene of the Crime (Anti) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

This is an unexpected pairing: soul-singer LaVette with alt-country rockers Drive-By Truckers recording in Muscle Shoals in Alabama.

A marriage made in heaven (or a somewhat hotter place) as it turns out: the band are edgy or supportive and nudge LaVette (who needs little prompting it must be said) through a collection of gritty songs which either jump out of the speakers or drag you into some intimate soul-baring lyrics.

LaVette, a Muscle Shoals veteran whose career has enjoyed a remarkable recent revival with her album I've Got My Own Hell to Raise, was returning home in a sense -- as was Trucker and co-producer Patterson Hood whose father was bassist in the studio and played on LaVette's 1972 sessions.

Here her remarkable voice is centrestage again and you feel that every lyric (by Willie Nelson, Don Henley, John Hiatt, Elton and Taupin, and others) is being interpreted a hard-won victory against the odds.

The autobiographical Before the Money Came (The Battle of Bettye LaVette) is a killer.

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