Although her résumé runs through four decades and includes numerous recordings (including some for big-timers like Atlantic and Motown) and even a few odd minor hits, Bettye LaVette's career flew under the radar for so long that even her cult status was minor league—undeservedly so, as it turned out. Avalanches of praise, including acknowledgment as one of the finest soul singers of her time, were heaped on LaVette when she finally achieved widespread recognition after Anti- released I've Got My Own Hell to Raise in 2005. She's a wonderful singer who wrings the emotion out of a lyric with smoldering intensity, essentially putting on a soul clinic during every performance. Although her repertoire widely embraces pop, rock, and country, she douses them all with soul power. The second album of her comeback was 2007's The Scene of the Crime, symbolically recorded with the Drive-By Truckers in Muscle Shoals, where she had cut an album in 1972 that went unreleased for 34 years. Recently she sang at President Obama's inauguration and jammed with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. At the Dakota she'll be backed by her four-piece band. $40 at 7:30 p.m.; $30 at 10 p.m.
Thu., June 11, 7:30 & 10 p.m., 2009