Who is Bettye LaVette you ask? The simple answer is Ms. LaVette is one of the greatest soul singers in American music history, possessed of an incredibly expressive voice that one moment will exude a formidable level of strength and intensity and the next will appear vulnerable, reflective, reeking of heartbreak. Unfortunately, it says much about the vagaries of the popular music industry that, although LaVette has been recording for over four decades, up until recent years she has remained criminally unknown.
For her new CD "The Scene Of The Crime", Bettye Lavette and Drive-By Truckers collaborate on this one-of-a-kind record filled with mini-dramas about life, love and survival. A blistering mix of anguished soul & greasy rock & roll, laced with the swampy guitars, Spooner Oldhams slippery Wurlitzer piano and Bettyes razor sharp voice in the forefront...more on "The Scene Of The Crime" biography >>
Rosebud Artists Nominated for 10 Blues Music Awards
Duke Robillard, Tommy Castro, Bettye LaVette and Ruthie Foster have been nominated for a total of 10 Blues Music Awards. The 31st Blues Music Awards will take place at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, TN on May 6, 2010. Rosebud artist nominations are as follows:
Duke Robillard and Tommy Castro both have four nominations each. Duke is nominated for Album of the Year for Stomp! The Blues Tonight, Band of the Year, Best Instrumentalist - Guitar and Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year. Tommy is nominated for B.B. King Entertainer of the Year, Band of the Year, Contemporary Blues Album of the Year for Hard Believer and Contemporary Blues Male Artist of the Year. Bettye LaVette and Ruthie Foster are both nominated for Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year. In addition, Duke produced 10 of the 12 tracks and guests on one song on Album of the Year / Contemporary Blues Album of The Year nominee Between a Rock and the Blues by Joe Louis Walker.
Other Rosebud related nominations are, in the Instrumentalist - Horn category: longtime Tommy Castro Band saxophonist Keith Crossan and Deanna Bogart, who plays in the Rosebud booked Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue with Tommy Castro. Nominated in the Historical Album of the Year category are: Muddy Waters' Authorized Bootleg and Little Walter's The Complete Chess Masters, featuring hit compositions by Willie Dixon. Both Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon were Rosebud artists until their passing. Nominated in the Acoustic Album of the Year category is: Things About Comin' My Way - A Tribute to the music of the Mississippi Sheiks, which features songs by Rosebud artists John Hammond and Bill Frisell.
Congratulations to all the nominees!
Bettye LaVette & Allen Toussaint Featured In Tributes To Jerry Wexler, Janis Joplin
Bettye LaVette and Allen Toussaint were featured performers in a memorial tribute to Jerry Wexler in New York City on October 30, 2009. Wexler, who coined the term "rhythm and blues," was a legendary producer and executive at Atlantic Records who signed Bettye in 1962 when she was 16. She performed a searing take on Ray Charles' “Drown In My Own Tears.” Allen Toussaint performed his composition “With You in Mind,” with Bonnie Raitt providing vocal support.
Bettye will also be featured performing at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame event, Kozmic Blues: The Life and Music of Janis Joplin on November 14, 2009 in Cleveland, OH. The tribute will be a reflection on the career of Janis Joplin and her impact on rock and roll. Susan Tedeschi, Lucinda Williams, Nona Hendryx, Guy Clark, Ray Benson and more are also featured.
Bill Frisell Honored As Guitarist Of The Year & Other Rosebud Artists Score In Downbeat's 57th Annual Critics Poll
Other Rosebud Artists also scored top ten rankings in the poll including Marcia Ball in the category of Blues Artist - Rising Star, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews for Trombone - Rising Star, and Bettye LaVette as one of the top Blues Artists.
Congratulations to all!
Bettye LaVette "No One More Soulful" per CNN
In a feature review of Bettye LaVette's A Change Is Gonna Come Sessions on CNN.com, Peter Grumbine (Current.com) praises Bettye, stating that of "living singers who are actively releasing music now, there is no one more soulful than Bettye LaVette." He continues, "Bettye actually makes great music because of her obstacles - she has a fire in her belly and a passion that was never squashed over the years... You hear it and feel it in everything she sings." Check out the clip here - at about the 6:00 minute mark for Bettye's portion.
Catch Bettye live on stage, please see tour dates >>
Living Blues Magazine has honored Bettye LaVette, Marcia Ball, and Charlie Musselwhite with nominations in their Annual Reader's Poll. Bettye LaVette is honored with two nominations: Best Live Performer and Most Outstanding Blues Singer. Marcia Ball and Charlie Musselwhite are nominated in categories both won for the last two years straight: Most Outstanding Musician, Keyboard and Harmonica, respectively. Marcia is also nominated for Blues Artist of the Year (Female). You can cast your vote at - livingblues.com - by clicking on 2009 LIVING BLUES AWARDS VOTE HERE! All ballots must be received by July 5, 2009.
Bettye LaVette To Perform On CBS' The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson June 24, 2009, New Digital EP release June 16
Bettye LaVette will return to CBS June 24, 2009 as the featured performer on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson. She will be performing "A Change Is Gonna Come," the classic Sam Cooke anthem. The song is featured on a six-song digital only EP, A Change Is Gonna Come Sessions, available exclusively on iTunes via Anti Records beginning June 16. In January, Bettye performed the song with Jon Bon Jovi at President Obama's pre-inaugural celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. In her most recent appearance on CBS, Bettye was featured at the Kennedy Center Honors performing "Love Reign O'er Me" in a tribute to The Who. Having recently returned from performing in Canada, Europe and Brazil, Bettye's upcoming schedule includes prestigious festivals and headline shows worldwide throughout the coming year. please see tour dates>>
Bettye LaVette's Digital EP "A Change Is Gonna Come Sessions" Out June 16, 2009
May 2009, Rosebud News
Bettye LaVette is releasing a six-song digital only EP, A Change Is Gonna Come Sessions, exclusively on iTunes via Anti Records on June 16, 2009. The title track is a version of the classic Sam Cooke anthem. A mix of standards and soul classics from Bettye’s 1970s stage and nightclub repertoire rounds out the set, including songs by Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk, Billy Strayhorn, Bill Withers and Jimmy Reed. This release follows significant milestones for Bettye. In April she was a featured performer with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr for the David Lynch Foundation's Transcendental Meditation benefit at Radio City Music Hall. In January she performed "A Change Is Gonna Come" with Jon Bon Jovi at President Obama's pre-inaugural celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. In December Bettye was featured at the Kennedy Center Honors performing "Love Reign O'er Me" in a tribute to The Who. Bettye's performance schedule includes prestigious festivals across the US, Canada, Europe and Brazil in coming months.. Please see tour dates >>
Rosebud Artists Everywhere At New Orleans Jazz Fest
Rosebud Artists could be found performing in a wide variety of formats during the 40th Annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (April 24 - May 3).
Booker T. made his debut performance at Jazz Fest with the Drive-By Truckers, who are the backing band on his current hit CD. In addition to playing the Festival itself, they performed for a television taping the night before the Festival opened. Joining Booker and the Truckers for the taping were Bettye LaVette, whose last album also featured backing by the Truckers, and the ever-present Trombone Shorty and Ben Ellman of Galactic who is producing a new CD for Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue.... read full story >>
Bettye LaVette Appears With Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr And More At Radio City Music Hall
Bettye LaVette scored yet another triumph in a year of great milestones for her. Bettye was chosen to perform as part of the David Lynch Foundation's Transcendental Meditation benefit at Radio City Music Hall on April 4. Bettye sang two songs with Moby - "Natural Blues" and "As Close As I'll Get To Heaven" before joining the finale where she shared the mic with Paul McCartney on "Cosmically Conscious". The all star cast also included Sheryl Crow, Donovan, Ben Harper and Eddie Vedder as well as appearances by Jerry Seinfeld and Howard Stern. All this follows on the heels of Bettye's Kennedy Center Honors performance in tribute to The Who in December and her performance with Jon Bon Jovi at President Obama's pre-inaugural celebration in January. Bettye continues a busy live performance schedule through the summer and beyond - dates here >>
Bettye LaVette's Moving Story Featured On SoulfulDetroit.com
February 2009, Rosebud News
An extensive history of Bettye LaVette is featured on the website SoulfulDetroit.com. The story details Bettye's beginnings as a performer in the 1960's through her present day success. After one of music history's longest waits, things just seem to be getting better and better for Bettye. December saw her perform at the The Kennedy Center Honors, broadcast on CBS, where she gave a stunning performance of The Who's "Love Reign O'er Me" in tribute to the band. In January she was a featured performer in the Inauguration celebration We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration At The Lincoln Memorial, broadcast by HBO. Bettye joined with Jon Bon Jovi for a stirring version of "A Change Is Gonna Come". Now watch Bettye in her Tonight Show debut on March 3rd, where she will be performing "I Still Wanna Be Your Baby (Take Me Like I Am)," from her Grammy nominated CD The Scene Of The Crime.
Bettye LaVette Makes Tonight Show Debut March 3rd
February 2009, Rosebud News
Bettye Lavette continues to build her profile on national TV as she makes her debut performance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on March 3rd, 2009. Bettye was recently featured at We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration At The Lincoln Memorial, the opening event for the Presidential Inaugural on January 18, 2009, broadcast on HBO. She delivered a stirring rendition of "A Change Is Gonna Come" with Jon Bon Jovi. Just weeks earlier she had stunned the Kennedy Center audience and viewers at home with a standout performance of The Who's "Love Reign O'er Me" at The Kennedy Center Honors, broadcast on CBS. According to Who guitarist Pete Townshend, "My favorite moment was when Bettye LaVette sang a very fine version of 'Love Reign O'er Me' at the Gala and Barbra Streisand turned to ask me if I really wrote it." Catch Bettye on The Tonight Show and on tour...
Bettye LaVette Featured At Pre-Inauguration Concert
January 2009, Rosebud News
Bettye LaVette was featured at the We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration At The Lincoln Memorial, the opening event for the Presidential Inaugural on January 18, 2009. She delivered a stirring rendition of "A Change Is Gonna Come" with Jon Bon Jovi. The event was presented by HBO. Bettye's performance can be seen here with the full show available here. See pictures from the event here and here.
Bettye LaVette To Duet At Obama Pre-Inauguration Event January 18 With Jon Bon Jovi
January 2009, Rosebud News
Bettye LaVette has been invited to sing "A Change Is Gonna Come" with Jon Bon Jovi at a star studded event kicking off the opening Obama Inaugural festivities on January 18, 2009. We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration At The Lincoln Memorial, the Opening Celebration for the Presidential Inaugural, will be presented exclusively by HBO on Sunday (7:00-9:00 p.m. ET/PT) January 18. The event will be free and open to the public, kicking off the most open and accessible Inauguration in history. Other artists appearing include Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Bono, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Herbie Hancock, John Legend, John Mellencamp, Usher, Shakira, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, will.i.am, and Stevie Wonder. Among those reading historical passages will be Jamie Foxx, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah and Denzel Washington. This follows close on the heels of Bettye's stunning performance at the Kennedy Center Honors which aired on the CBS network on December 30.
December 2008, Rosebud News
Bettye LaVette stunned the audience with a standout performance of The Who's "Love Reign O'er Me" at The Kennedy Center Honors recently. According to Who guitarist Pete Townshend, "My favorite moment was when Bettye LaVette sang a very fine version of 'Love Reign O'er Me' at the Gala and Barbra Streisand turned to ask me if I really wrote it." Bettye herself was quite excited to be a part of the Honors: The Kennedy Center Honors was the most exciting thing I have ever done in my life says Bettye. And this year has been the greatest year of my life. Who would have ever imagined both Barack and I going to the White House?
Expect Bettye to return to the studio in 2009. In the meantime, the Kennedy Center Honors - honoring The Who, George Jones, Barbra Streisand, Morgan Freeman, and Twyla Tharp - airs December 30 on CBS. Catch Bettye on tour in 2009, please see tour dates >>