Think of this as a mix tape, like one of those cassettes you sweated over in college to slip to that special someone in your Mass Communications class. That batch of songs that was uniquely you, that would open your murky soul to the broad light of day, and let ...
Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
BETTYE LAVETTE brings the British Invasion home to its American R&B roots on her latest CD, INTERPRETATIONS: THE BRITISH ROCK SONGBOOK, due May 25 on Anti-. While BETTYE's Grammy-nominated 2007 disc The Scene Of The Crime went to the source to find triumph over her own anguish, INTERPRETATIONS looks to the past this time for inspiration and uncovers common ancestry in seemingly divergent musical paths.
Produced by BETTYE, Rob Mathes and Michael Stevens, the album is a 13-song journey through compositions by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd among others, before concluding right where the very idea for INTERPRETATIONS started: BETTYE's visceral show-stopping rendition of The Who's "Love Reign O'er Me" from the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors, which appears here as a bonus track.
That performance - which first brought BETTYE together with Stevens (the event's producer) and Mathes (its musical director) - served notice that BETTYE is no mere singer. As an extraordinary interpreter of song, she doesn't merely mold a piece of music to suit her tastes; she is a conjurer of deep, emotional truths:
"Bettye LaVette punched a hole right through her version of Pete Townshend's 'Love Reign O'er Me,' letting all the song's emotion pour out in a way that its ...