Despite scoring a couple of hits on the R&B charts when she was a teenager in the early '60s, Bettye LaVette was barely even a rumor for the next four decades. She finally burst on the scene with the 2005 Anti release I've Got My Own Hell to Raise, and she's been living up to the title's claim ever since, astonishing with her soulful pipes and her ability to wring every iota of emotion out of a lyric. After thoroughly reinventing the British invasion songbook last time out and releasing an autobiography (A Woman Like Me), LaVette is celebrating 50 years in show biz by touring behind her latest collection of blues, gospel, and soul-drenched covers, Thankful N' Thoughtful. Besides the Sly Stone title track, standouts include a gritty New Orleans blues run through Tom Waits's "Yesterday Is Here," a tough ramble into Neil Young's "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere," and two versions of Ewan MacColl's "Dirty Old Town" rewritten to reflect her native Detroit: one nostalgic but bitter, the other languid and full of sadness.
Mondays, Tuesdays, 7 p.m. Starts: Nov. 12. Continues through Nov. 13, 2012
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