Bettye LaVette: Interpretations; The British Rock Songbook (Anti)

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Bettye LaVette: Salt of the Earth
Bettye LaVette: Interpretations; The British Rock Songbook (Anti)

Soul singer and Muscle Shoals veteran LaVette has enjoyed a revival recently: her 05 album I've Got My Own Hell to Raise put her back to the foreground; the excellent 07 Scene of the Crime teamed her with US alt.country rockers Drive-By Truckers; and last year she was at Barack Obama's inauguration and with the remaining Beatles at New York's Radio City Music Hall for a fundraiser.

A great interpreter of a lyric, the 64-year old here takes on songs by the Beatles, Pink Floyd, the Stones, Moody Blues and others, and closes with her thrilling version of the Who's Love Reign Over Me performed at the Kennedy Centre when Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey were being honoured.

Kicking off with tough funk on the Beatles' The Word from Rubber Soul, she later delivers aching treatments of George Harrison's Isn't It a Pity, McCartney's Maybe I'm Amazed and Nights in White Satin, Southern soul on the Stones' Salt of the Earth and stinging swamp-funk on Ringo's It Don't Come Easy.

Her version of Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood pales against the Animals and Nina Simone, and the orchestrated Wish You Were Here may be a test.

As with such projects, some hits and a few off-target – and you might wish for more stompers. But the best, more than half the 13 tracks, outweighs the rest.

Even though she never went away, she's back. Again.

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