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HOT SHOW - Aug. 20: Bettye LaVette, City Winery

City Winery (Chicago)

photo: Dianne Bruce Dunklau

Bettye LaVette

When: Sunday, August 20

Show Time: 7 p.m.

Doors: 5 p.m.

Where: City Winery

Address: 1200 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL


The legendary Bettye LaVette began her 61-year-long storied career, beginning in 1960s in Detroit as a teen, with a resurgence in the mid-2000s. For her latest LP, simply titled LaVette! (June 16), she teamed once again with famed producer Steve Jordan for a special release on Jay-Vee Records, the label founded by Jordan and Meegan Voss. An interpreter without peer, Bettye chose to record an album of songs written by Randall Bramblett. “I think he’s the best songwriter I’ve heard in the past 30 years,” says LaVette, “and I just discovered him eight years ago.” “Bettye LaVette is like a combination of Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday and Miles Davis,” says Jordan. “When I prepare a band for her, I make sure we have it together. When she joins us, we’re only gonna get one or two takes, because she puts her heart and soul into each performance.” The late, great country music titan George Jones, called her "a singer's singer". “When Bettye gets a hold of a song, it becomes her song,” Jordan explains. “It’s like she wrote it. She’s a great messenger, a communicator, an interpreter. “I’m very happy with what we’ve done,” Bettye adds. “It is very, very difficult to please an old woman, but I’m nearly excited.” She is a six-time Grammy nominee, has received a Pioneer Award from The Rhythm & Blues Foundation, has won several Blues Music Awards and has been inducted into The Blues Hall Of Fame. Bettye is one of very few of her contemporaries who were recording during the birth of soul music in the 1960s and is still creating vital recordings today. She and her full band will be presenting songs from the new album as well as some older favorites. Ms. LaVette has covered a wide range of songs over her career, ranging from Willie Nelson, Lucinda Williams, The Who, Bob Dylan and many more.

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