Thursday, January 05, 2006

I've Got My Own Hell To Raise

Image Hosted by
Bettye LaVette is an old school blues, soul and r'n'b singer. She had her first hits in the '60s - “Let Me Down Easy” and “He Made a Woman Out Of Me.” She has a great, growling voice that can be soft and vulnerable or loud and angry. The Epitaph Records sublabel Anti- hooked her up with singer/songwriter Joe Henry to record an album of covers called I've Got My Own Hell To Raise. The songs are all by women - Fiona Apple, Lucinda Williams, Dolly Parton, Sinead O'Connor and Aimee Mann are some of the more prominent names. It's a gripping set of songs, played out in low-key, alt.blues-rock fashion. Henry is here as producer and guide, and his understated style is felt. I'm not normally a big fan of this kind of music, but when everyone (not just the blues geeks) at my record store is talking about how great a record is I know I have to check it out. They're right of course - it's a fine record. My fave track right now is the lovely, tough rendition of Joan Armatrading's Down To Zero, a track from her 1976 self titled LP. Originally acoustic, here it's a full band in countrified blues mode, with some great piano and a pretty smokin' guitar solo. Bettye's voice will slay you. A great record.

Twenty Tasty Tracks
Somebody with whom I share a great deal of musical taste is fellow blogger Jocko. He has posted his top 20 tracks of 2005, and it is as varied and fun as anything you'd find here. Do yourself (and your music collection) a favor and check out Jocko's Top 20 of 2005.

No comments: