December 13-14, 2023
About the Artist
“I ain’t got no f*cking other plan,” says the legendary Bettye LaVette. She’s talking about
her 61-year storied career, beginning in 1960’s Detroit, with a resurgence in the
mid-2000’s. For her latest LP, simply titled LaVette!, she teamed once again with
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 George Jones, called her "a singer's
Born in Muskegon, Michigan, Bettye’s parents, Louisiana migrants, ran a club out of
their home. They sold corn liquor and chicken sandwiches and spun records for the
Black auto-parts workers and traveling gospel groups who didn’t have a hangout to kick
back in and call their own. She was a toddler, listening in on old folks' business; learning
old folks' ways. Some of that was conversation, observing the interactions, the repartee;
some of it was the 78s that spun on the family’s jukebox — a trove of blues, gospel,
country & western, and the latest R&B that filtered through AM radio playlists.
“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 recieved a Pioneer Award from The Rhythm &
Blues Foundation, has won several Blues Music Awards, has been inducted into The
Blues Hall Of Fame and received the Legacy Award from the Americana Association.
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