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

 |   |  <1 min read

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.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Jakob Dylan: Seeing Things (Sony/BMG)

Jakob Dylan: Seeing Things (Sony/BMG)

This son of Bob will be 40 next year and has a substantial career behind him with the Wallflowers (five albums) plus some high-profile guest spots. But with this debut under his own name you have... > Read more

Erkki-Sven Tuur: Oxymoron (ECM New Series/Ode)

Erkki-Sven Tuur: Oxymoron (ECM New Series/Ode)

Contemporary classical music -- which often sounds like it comes from "elsewhere" -- sometimes gets a look in at these pages, especially if it is challenging. And this certainly is.... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

The Dire Straits Experience, Aotea Centre, Auckland Oct 2 2014

The Dire Straits Experience, Aotea Centre, Auckland Oct 2 2014

Some time at the tail end of last century I spent a very funny evening backstage with Tina Turner, Neil Diamond and Rod Stewart. There were lots of laughs . . . although it did seem there was... > Read more

Allen Ginsberg: Green Automobile (1953)

Allen Ginsberg: Green Automobile (1953)

Although there is a decent reading of this poem on the Ginsberg box set Holy Soul Jelly Roll; Poems and Songs 1949 - 1993, this rather poorly captured version is much more affecting and, in its... > Read more