Published Jun 26, 2012If Bettye LaVette's recent Toronto Jazz Festival performance or 2010's Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook have taught us anything about her, it's that the veteran soul artist knows how to make a cover song completely her own. The singer's next album, Thankful N' Thoughtful, is poised to do just the same.
Set to hit retailers September 25 through Anti- Records, the Craig Street-produced (Norah Jones, K.D. Lang, John Legend) album collects contemporary covers of songs from Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, the Black Keys, Neil Young and more.
According to a press release, LaVette takes the tunes, "rearranges [them] deep within her soul and exorcises [them] as her own through her voice filled with longing, rage, desire, despair, survival and victory." Along the way, she injects Dylan's "Everything Is Broken" with a dose of funk, while changing the lyrics of Ewan MacColl's England-referencing "Dirty Old Town" to reflect the Detroit race riots.
Elsewhere, she re-imagines Sly and the Family Stone's "Thankful N' Thoughtful," Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" and the Black Keys' "I'm Not the One." You can check out the latter in the video clip down below.
LaVette's fall will also be marked by the release of an autobiography called A Woman Like Me, co-written with David Ritz. The book, which aims to cover LaVette's 50 years in the music biz, will be issued September 27.
Thankful N' Thoughtful:
1. Everything is Broken (Bob Dylan)
2. I'm Not the One (The Black Keys)
3. Dirty Old Town (Ewan MacColl)
4. The More I Search (The More I Die) (Kim McLean)
5. I'm Tired (Savoy Brown)
6. Crazy (Gnarls Barkley)
7. Yesterday Is Here (Tom Waits)
8. Thankful N' Thoughtful (Sly & The Family Stone)
9. Fair Enough (Beth Nielsen Chapman)
10. Time Will Do the Talking (Patty Griffin)
11. Everybody Knows This is Nowhere (Neil Young)
12. Dirty Old Town (slow version)