BETTYE LaVETTE is set to perform "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" - from her Grammy-nominated CD INTERPRETATIONS: THE BRITISH ROCK SONGBOOK (Anti-) - December 21 on Lopez Tonight on TBS. In BETTYE's hands, the song, best known as a top 15 hit for The Animals in 1965, "[comes] across like one side of an argument," according to Jon Bream of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Adds Jay Lustig of the Newark Star-Ledger (where "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" was Song of the Day earlier this year), "I've never heard an interpretation of it that brought the sense of desperation in the lyrics so far into the forefront."
Meanwhile, BETTYE returns to Joe's Pub in New York on January 8 for an intimate vocal performance accompanied only by her Music Director/pianist Alan Hill. BETTYE first sang without a band at Joe's Pub to great acclaim in 2009 - "She sings, she smolders, she testifies," wrote Dimitri Ehrlich in Uptown Social - as she revisited songs from her early years in Detroit nightclubs. This time around, BETTYE reprises her September performances at Largo in L.A., delving more extensively into her recent Anti- catalog - including some of the same British Invasion material that is the focus of her Grammy nominated CD.
Nominated for Best Contemporary Blues Album, INTERPRETATIONS: THE BRITISH ROCK SONGBOOK is an impassioned dissertation on the much-documented influence that American blues and soul had on British rock n' roll - but more than that, it's an exploration of how those echoes from a foreign shore in turn influenced and reshaped American blues and soul. Praise for INTERPRETATIONS has run the gamut from critics to contemporaries - and the artists whose work BETTYE re-imagines in her own inimitable style.
Dubbed "the last great vernacular black singer" by The New Yorker, and "The High Priestess of R&B" by the Huffington Post, BETTYE "now rivals Aretha Franklin as her generation's most vital soul singer" (New York Times). INTERPRETATIONS is "required listening for music lovers of all nationalities and sensibilities," says USA Today. "Every one of these tracks is a well-known song, seemingly immutable in the original version," adds All Music Guide, "but amazingly, LaVette steals each and every one of them...LaVette is singing better than ever, and if she isn't a household name, she ought to be."