Next stop for BETTYE LaVETTE on her 40-year journey to the GRAMMYs? Late Night with Conan O'Brien on January 16.
BETTYE, who recently scored the first GRAMMY nomination of her career - for Best Contemporary Blues Album for her CD THE SCENE OF THE CRIME (Anti- Records) - brings her fiery performance to the TV airwaves on the heels of three 2008 Blues Music Award nominations (including Album of the Year and B.B. King Entertainer of the Year) and inclusion on countless critics' year-end lists.
The tireless LaVETTE cracked the top 10 in Entertainment Weekly's Records of the Year (coming in at #9), and landed the top spot in No Depression's critics' poll. THE SCENE OF THE CRIME clawed its way onto best of '07 lists from major newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post, and Chicago Tribune; music magazines including Mojo, Paste, and Harp; and online outlets including All Music Guide, Pop Matters, Metromix, and Living In Stereo - among many others.
"What a gloriously well-schooled and savage voice," enthuses No Depression. "Nothing left to hold back."
"A track like 'Talking Old Soldiers'...gets to the essence of despair the way great blues does," adds Entertainment Weekly. "Even if it's actually an Elton John cover. Enlisting the Drive-By Truckers as her rowdy, ragged backup band, LaVette continues to imbue her other borrowed tracks (from Don Henley, George Jones, and Willie Nelson) with grit, anguish, and even some serious sex appeal. She's a force of nature we'll just have to settle on labeling as awesome."
The Boston Globe's Siddhartha Mitter calls SCENE "Inquisitive, vulnerable, and raw. It's retro-soul without an ounce of pastiche," while fellow Globe scribe James Reed describes BETTYE's CD as "A resilient and resplendent soul nugget, with Southern rockers Drive-By Truckers giving her room to exorcise her demons and heal."
Pop Matters dubs the disc "An instant classic," Harp begs, "Don't ever change, Bettye," and Gibson Lifestyle - putting SCENE atop its list of best blues albums of 2007 - adds that "LaVette's dynamic silk-and-sandpaper singing...turns numbers like 'Jealousy' and 'You Don't Know Me At All' into epic soul testimonials."
Meanwhile, BETTYE recently joined host Terry Gross on NPR's Peabody Award-winning Fresh Air to talk about her 40-year career and her winding road to redemption on her intensely cathartic latest disc. That interview can be heard streaming online at: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17311075.