a New Take on the Elton John Classic
"The Old Soldiers Tour" Continues into October
Bettye LaVette, the 45+ year veteran of American soul music has filmed a new video for what is arguably the most moving track from the Grammy nominated The Scene of the Crime: the poignant re-interpretation of the Elton John classic "Talking Old Soldiers." It was filmed by Lex Halaby (The Frames, Atmosphere) in The Locker Room, a bar in her hometown of Detroit, MI, where she spent many a night feeling the things that appealed to her in the lyrics of the song. The video captures in Bettye all the disappointment and loneliness that lyricist Bernie Taupin imbued in his timeworn veterans, and adds the distinctly modern cry of a woman and an artist aging in a young person's game. Bettye said she chose to record "Talking Old Soldiers," because "it is a true segment of my life."
In his Pick of the Week at USA Today, critic Ken Barnes wrote: "The 61-year-old Detroit soul survivor transforms Elton John's Tumbleweed Connection obscurity into a tour de force about outliving the people one loves the most. "How the hell do they know what it's like to have a graveyard for a friend?" she wails, looking around the bar at the youngsters who've dismissed her as a crazy old lush...LaVette's chill-inducing performance is without question one of the finest you'll hear all year."
Still, while the song may be a lament, the overarching vibe of The Scene of the Crime is one of redemption and triumph. The album marks Bettye's second for Anti- Records, and on it, she returns to the city of Muscle Shoals, AL, where some of her earlier work had been recorded, yet remained unreleased for years, this time with backing band Drive-By Truckers. The master song interpreter with a reputation for ferocity and perseverance, backed by this band of rock 'n roll outlaws, together created a record as emotional as one of her highly regarded live performances. The critics were unanimous:
- "LaVette's nuanced singing evokes prime Tina Turner with even more command." - Rolling Stone - "Living proof that classic soul is as durable a style as any brand of American music." - New York Times - "LaVette sings Scene as if she's been backed into a corner and relishes the sensation." - Village Voice
"The Old Soldiers Tour" has seen LaVette at the Telluride Jazz Celebration, the Monterey Bay Blues Festival and the inaugural Rothbury Festival among dozens of other appearances. The tour continues up until the holiday season:
8/13/2008 - Plaza Major - Gijon SPAIN 8/15/2008 - Blues in Chedigny - Chedigny FRANCE 8/16/2008 - Oslo Jazz Festival - Oslo NORWAY 8/22/2008 - Century of Song - Bochum GERMANY 8/24/2008 - Century of Song - Bochum GERMANY 8/30/2008 - On The Waterfront Festival - Rockford IL 8/31/2008 - Big Muddy Blues Festival - St. Louis MO 9/7/2008 - Wachusett Mountain Blues Festival - Wachusett MA 9/20/2008 - Great Atlantic Blues and Beyond Festival - Halifax NS CANADA 9/25/2008 - Ho Chunk Casino and Convention Center - Baraboo WI 9/28/2008 - Bluebird Blues Festival - Largo MD 10/4/2008 - Roots, Blues and BBQ Festival - Columbia MO 10/18/2008 - Lake Eden Arts Festival - LEAF - Black Mountain NC 11/14/2008 - Lucerne Blues Festival - Lucerne SWITZERLAND