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Monday, June 01, 2020

Bettye Lavette - "Live @ NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert (From The Archives)" [R'n'B, Soul, Funk, Live In Concert]

Live @ NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert (From The Archives)

"Live @ NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert (From The Archives)" music video by Bettye Lavette
Added: 01-06-2020
Genre : R'n'B, Soul, Funk, Live In Concert
Description : Bettye Lavette: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert From The Archives

We've been filming Tiny Desk concerts for more than 10 years. While revisiting our archives, we discovered that some of our earliest concerts never made it to YouTube! 

Watch Bettye LaVette’s Tiny Desk concert from 2010: 

Frannie Kelley | May 21, 2010

We were not prepared for Bettye LaVette's appearance in the NPR Music offices. We thought we were — having set up our cameras and recording gear and signed in all the friends who had heard she was scheduled to play and beaten down our door.

But then she blew into the room and conquered it before she'd sung a single note. She teased Bob Boilen mercilessly and told all the women how beautiful they were. She had reporters and producers doing her bidding all over the building. But after we cleared a spot for her to perch on the corner of Bob's desk, she went to work.

The first song she sang, a cover of Ringo Starr's "It Don't Come Easy," killed the room. LaVette hunched her shoulders, dropped her chin and yanked the song out of her throat. It felt like a confession. Every movement she made — whether she threw her head back in a desperate wail or drooped it to close a phrase signifying defeat — shoved further meaning into the words. Her voice was bruising, shocking, and she sang really loud.

Before she began, LaVette asked us to close the blinds. It was 3 in the afternoon, but she said she was about to sing some night songs. She sang end of the night songs: "It Don't Come Easy," "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," "Nights in White Satin." (Due to licensing issues, only "It Don't Come Easy" is available in the video above, at least for the time being.) But she took those songs — glammed up and kindly lit in the recordings we remember — and tore off their clothes. She wrestled them to the ground. It was a real performance, from which each of us emerged a little sore.

At the end, LaVette's accompanist — Alan Hill, who had trained a gimlet eye on LaVette all the while — registered his approval. "We should play more office parties," he said.


An R&B diva with a sharp, distinctive vocal style that balances passion, ferocity, and confidence, Bettye LaVette experienced early success before spending years as a cult figure among fans of vintage soul (especially in Europe and the U.K.), only to find a new and appreciative audience in the 2000s. LaVette has a strong, clear voice that can caress or cut deep at will, and while she rarely writes her material, she's a gifted interpreter, giving songs a reading that fills them with her own personality while bringing out unexplored facets of the author's work. From her first single in 1962, "My Man -- He's a Loving Man," LaVette has been a clever and impassioned vocalist, but ironically, it was her more mature work of the late '60s onward where she developed the instincts that truly set her apart. Her troubles with various record labels would result in much of her strongest work barely being heard, though (and in the case of her outstanding album Child of the Seventies, sitting unreleased for decades). The 2003 live album A Woman Like Me finally earned her a hearing from American soul music enthusiasts, and 2005's I've Got My Own Hell to Raise was a studio set that presented her in utterly uncompromised fashion and demonstrated she was one of the strongest and savviest soul singers alive. A series of critically celebrated albums followed, most thematic in nature, including 2007's The Scene of the Crime (a collaboration with the alt-country act the Drive-By Truckers), 2010's Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook, and 2018's Things Have Changed (devoted to songs written by Bob Dylan).

Tags : 2010, 10s, Bettye Lavette