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October 14, 2012
Celebrating her 50-Year music career with the release of "Thankful N' Thoughtful" out Sept 25 & her autobiography "A Woman Like Me" out Sept 27
Sunday, October 14
also at Yoshi's San Francisco - click for info
Monday, October 15
R&B legend Bettye LaVette is set to mark her 50th anniversary in the music world with the upcoming release of her mesmerizing album, THANKFUL N’ THOUGHTFUL, on September 25 on ANTI- Records, as well as her breathtaking and no holds barred autobiography co-written with David Ritz out on Blue Rider Press through Penguin on September 27.
Produced by Craig Street (Norah Jones, Joe Henry, k.d. lang, Meshell Ndegeocello, John Legend, Charlie Sexton, etc.), TN’T is a selection of contemporary tracks written and previously recorded by Bob Dylan, The Black Keys, Tom Waits, Neil Young, Patty Griffin, Gnarls Barkley and others, which Bettye consumes whole, rearranges deep within her soul and exorcises as her own through her voice filled with longing, rage, desire, despair, survival and victory. Bettye’s voice—rough, tender, sensuous--is her instrument of inspiration and her dynamic power seethes throughout each song, wringing out the pathos, sharing her hard earned wisdom and story throughout these tales of her reinvention.
Thankful N’ Thoughtful opens with the funk injected Bob Dylan cut “Everything Is Broken” and when Bettye moans and howls the title refrain you have no doubt as to the trouble she’s seen. The entire album turned out to be a companion piece to her autobiography as while she was writing the book, she was also recording the songs on TN’T. On Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy,” she slows it down just a tad, then wrings every drop of sweat and blood from each and every syllable till your spine tingles, with “Dirty Old Town” (The Pogues/Rod Stewart), Bettye reworks the lyrical setting to Detroit—singing about her first love at Northern High and the Detroit race riots. Meanwhile, when she takes on The Black Keys’ “I’m Not The One,” the sensual grit of the song sizzles with her all-knowing rasp.
Every song here is a testament to her life and her unrivaled skill for interpretation. By the time Bettye’s finished recording a track, she has fully inhabited the body and soul of the song. From Young’s “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere,” to Savoy Brown’s “I’m Tired” to the title track “Thankful N’ Thoughtful,” a lesser known gem by Sly & The Family Stone,” Bettye expels every word with such visceral passion, you can feel her in the present moment.