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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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