domingo, 29 de marzo de 2009

Bettye LaVette: Let Me Down Easy In Concert (2000)

While her talent places her squarely on a parallel with legends such as Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, and Irma Thomas, Detroit soul singer Bettye LaVette never really got the adulation and commercial success enjoyed by her peers. LaVette claims that live performance is where she blows away the competition and hearing this monster set recorded at the 1999 Blues Estafette festival in Utrecht, Holland, one would be hard pressed to argue with her. It captures some of the excitement of a singer who loves to sing and is determined to give her audience what it came for: a great show. That's why they love her throughout Europe and pack the clubs and blues festivals to see her perform. Featuring an ace band led by her longtime keyboardist and musical director, Rudy Robinson, Let Me Down Easy in Concert reveals the singer finding the exposed nerve in a sampling of her career. She opens with her first hit record, ‘My Man’. It's faster here than on the original, but it's still hot and Bettye tells the truth as only she can. Bettye's version of Etta James' ‘Damn Your Eyes’ is a highlight of the set. An original, Bettye doesn't copy Etta's version, but gives it new life and a fresh and exciting interpretation. LaVette's starkly atmospheric and beautiful ‘Let Me Down Easy’ always brings down the house. The original recording is now considered a classic, but the other covers of the song don't match Bettye's original. In concert, LaVette has given the song "wings" and she soars like a Phoenix leaving her listeners exhilerated. Bettye's voice is unique in that she does not imitate anyone and gives everything she sings, guts and soul. If she feels like shouting, she'll shout, if she feels tender she can break your heart with a whisper...and if she get's "happy" she might do a little screamin' for you. But, one thing, she does all of this with class.,

Bettye LaVette with DLS Band singing live 'Little Sparrow':

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