Last night my friend Shelley and I went to see Bettye LaVette at The Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. It almost didn't happen, but it did, and I thank you, Shelley, for going with me.
Bettye feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeels every note she sings. She is a soul singer, extraordinaire, who's about to break out big time after singing her heart out for over 50 years. She is a testament to doing what you love without reward or acknowledgement from others. After performing, "Love Reign O'er Me" for a tribute to The Who at the Kennedy Center in 2008, people are FINALLY acknowledging her extraordinary talent.
From her website:
Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters/Nirvana, recently described his first encounter with Bettye's rendition of the song to Air America's Richard Greene: "We showed up for rehearsal, and one of the performers was rehearsing the song for the Who segment. It was a woman named Bettye LaVette… She is gonna steal the show. She was so phenomenal, this performance of The Who song that she did. It will bring you to tears. The room was pin-drop silent when she did this song, and it was just unbelievable."
And can you believe it? She sang it last night, and it was phenomenal! I can't even describe it, but I'm sure glad I was there to witness it. She has an autobiography out, and she said there may even be a movie in the works. I can't wait. Thank you, Bettye, for slugging it out for all these years. You deserve all the praise you're finally receiving.
Give yourself a HUGE present and WATCH:
Here's Bettye's website: http://bettyelavette.com/index.html