April 6, 2011 – 3:41 am

The Comeback Queen’s blues power.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Switzerland 2006 [no label, 1CD]

Live at Piazza Blues, Bellinzona, Switzerland, June 22, 2006. Excellent stereo soundboard.

Hard to believe that Bettye LaVette’s first recording was back in 1962, My Man, He’s A Lovin’ Man, which was a minor R n’ B hit for Atlantic Records. It wasn’t until 2005, when indie label Anti-Records signed LaVette and released her winning album, I’ve Got My Own Hell To Raise, that she finally received proper recognition. Produced by another under-appreciated singer-songwriter, Joe Henry, the “Hell” album was critically acclaimed mainly for LaVette’s incredible interpretations of familiar country and pop songs. LaVette had the “balls” to cover a lightweight Fiona Apple song Sleep To Dream. Amazing.

LaVette refers to the “Hell” album with a mixture of relief and disbelief at this show in Switzerland, recorded by swissbird. Thanks for sharing. If you have doubts, leave them at the door. LaVette has the lungs and the savvy to make these songs soul-blues standards.

It’s like the circle has finally made the round. Popsters from the Beatles to the Stones who made light of blues songs built multi-million dollar careers. When LaVette does a pop cover, she turns them into blues power. Music fans who may not be interested in the blues, are drawn to these cover versions. That’s what’s propelling LaVette’s career. Her latest album Interpretation: The British Rock Songbook confirms that her label is doing for her career what Clive Davis is doing to Rod Stewart’s.

And we much prefer LaVette’s to Stewart’s. It’s about integrity.
- The Little Chicken

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Chicken Soup [instrumental] (13.0MB)
Track 02. Intro - The Stealer [Free cover] > He Made A Woman Out Of Me [Bobbie Gentry] (10.0MB)
Track 03. Your Turn To Cry (9.4MB)
Track 04. Joy [Lucinda Williams cover] (9.2MB)
Track 05. Little Sparrow [Dolly Parton cover] > When You Fall (15.5MB)
Track 06. It Serves Him Right (12.1MB)
Track 07. Souvenirs [Steve Goodman cover] (6.4MB)
Track 08. Souvenirs [ad libbed, different lyrics] (6.6MB)
Track 09. Band intro > Right In The Middle (Of Falling In Love) (15.8MB)
Track 10. Close As I’ll Get To Heaven (14.2MB)
Track 11. Sleep To Dream [Fiona Apple cover] (8.3MB)
Track 12. Encore: I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got [acapella, Sinead O’Connor cover] (4.4MB)

Bettye LaVette - vocals
Alan Hill - keyboards
William Farris - guitar
John Barron - bass
Darryl Pierce - drums

Ms LaVette has yet another collection of covers, Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook, her 2010 release. Click on the link to order the album.

Or try her breakthrough album, 2005’s I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise, produced by Joe Henry. The above concert covers many of the tunes on this album. Click on the link to order the album.

  1. 8 Responses to “BETTYE’S BLUES”

  2. I am constantly amazed at the quality boots you post. Many thanks. I became aware of Bettye LaVette when she did that amazing cover of The Who’s “Reign O’vr Me” at the Lincoln Center.I can’t wait to listen to this tomorrow on my day off. I’ll also have to pick up her newest album of the British covers.

    By Todd Adams on Apr 6, 2011

  3. What a fantastic post, thank you. Truly a fantastic voice and performer. Everyone should own a Bettye Lavette album.

    By upperwye on Apr 7, 2011

  4. Kudos for posting Bettye. Calling out Sleep to Dream as a “lightweight Fiona Apple song” makes you a complete douchebag.

    By Boris Kenton on Apr 7, 2011

  5. hi bois this is a music lovers site dont start throwing insults theres plenty of other places to vent im sure the reveiwer ment no disrepect to miss apple just that in the company of other great songwriters bette did an a amazing job on Sleep To Dream which she recorded on her come back album o and by the way what is a complete douchebag

    By david franklin on Apr 7, 2011

  6. a complete douchebag - definition: someone who downloads the great stuff shared by the folks here, then insults them.

    And don’t try to excuse your comment as a joke, Boris; it will have been read by everyone else as simple ungrateful rudeness.

    Sometimes, I think that meteor/asteroid/”big one”/the anti-Christ cannot come soon enough. There’s a lot of human debris due for pruning.

    By tony on Apr 9, 2011

  7. Thanks

    By Jean Michel on Jan 3, 2012

  8. Smokey bar room blues with voice to match. ‘Your turn to cry’ hits the spot with a great vocal rendition. Excellent sound quality. This posting is one to keep.

    By Creatist on Apr 6, 2012

  9. Thanks, Bettye is an exquisite singer, wrought with feeling, soul, power, emotion, she is a freaking FORCE. This is a great little show. She takes other singers and songwriters songs and OWNS them…not a wrong note in the bunch. Many thanks for the post.

    By zenpablo on Jun 3, 2012

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