Bettye LaVette: The Scene of the Crime

Bettye LaVette. <i>Anti-</i>.

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Like a bumpy country road, sixtysomething Southern R&B veteran Bettye LaVette’s singing is full of rough spots, all the better to spotlight her thrilling intensity. Continuing the resurgence that began in 2005 with I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise, the remarkable The Scene of the Crime features a sizzling band that includes members of Drive-By Truckers—just imagine Tina Turner fronting the Stones circa 1968. As the voice of hard-earned experience, LaVette ponders the ravages of alcohol (“Choices”) and time (Elton John’s “Talking Old Soldiers”) and looks back at 45 years of career struggles in the funky “Before the Money Came (The Battle of Bettye LaVette),” exclaiming, “I’ve got so much to say.” Long may she roar.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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