Title: I’ve Got My Own Hell To Raise
Catalogue Number: Anti 6772-2
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2005
If you like your soul to be southern and deep then you will undoubtedly have heard of Betty LaVette. And for those of you haven't, you're in for a real treat. Although her choices of songs for this album are drawn predominately from the country and rock fields, she takes them and gives them a soul. And by doing so breathes new life in to each one.
Bettye takes Dolly Parton's "Little Sparrow" and transforms the cautionary tale on infidelity into a heart rendering portrayal of emotion, aided by a bass line that feels like it is being played on your very heartstrings. Vying with this song to be the highlight of the album is her interpretation of Joan Armatrading's "Down To Zero", which sees her at her deepest, soulful best as her quivering passionate vocals makes you feel every lyric, note and emotion of the song.
Others of particular note are Rosanne Cash's "On The Surface" which is given a funky deep soul makeover; her 'James Brown like' performance of Lucinda Williams's "Joy", and her soulful country take on Aimee Mann's "How Am I Different".
Although not all the performances quite hit the mark, when they do they remind you that Bettye really deserves to be made known to wider audience. And for those you who are already fans, you will be pleased to know that she still posses one of the great soulful voices on any point of the compass.
September 8, 2007
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