Bettye LaVette

Bettye LaVette


  • October 18, 2018 at 8:00pm
  • CSPS Hall
  • $35 advance | $40 door

Bettye LaVette is no mere singer. She’s not a songwriter and not a cover artist. Rather, the woman is an interpreter of the highest order, one who’s able to take a song from any genre and making it completely her own. The Beatles, Dolly Parton, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen are just a few of the artists who have had their work re-imagined by Bettye, but her personal trajectory goes even further back. She was there at the birth of soul music, only 16 when she recorded her first single, “My Man (He’s a Loving Man).” That record, released on Atlantic in 1962, led to a string of recordings on Atco, Epic, Motown and other classic labels. The albums that followed attracted a cluster of accolades: three Grammy nominations; a W.C. Handy Award for Album of the Year; the prestigious Pioneer Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation; and Blues Music Awards for Best Female Blues Singer and Best Soul Artist. Moreover, the voice remains incredible: in the words of critic Joe Levy, “full of grit, brass and soul when she started; worn and sharpened by experience now at 72.”

Now, in her 55th year in show business, she’s signed with Verve Records and recorded an entire album of Bob Dylan songs. Things Have Changed is Lavette's first record devoted entirely to a single songwriter and her first major label outing in 32 years. And it’s a masterpiece: the songs of one of the greatest songwriters of our time, interpreted by one of the greatest soul singers alive. The album has critics falling all over themselves with raves and superlatives. Pop Matters calls it “a milestone, showing LaVette at the top of her game,” while Rolling Stone dubs it a “miracle.” In concert, now 72, LaVette performs with the élan and ferocity of someone half her age. CSPS audiences can expect her to deliver the new album in its entirety, along with other songs from throughout her career.