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A great voice meets a great band
on 6 October 2007
Bettye Lavette's excellent "I've Got My own Hell To Raise" showed how a solid, sympathetic backing band could showcase her superb phrasing and kickass vocals. For her follow up her record label asked loud, raucous and exuberant Alabama rockers - the Drive-by Truckers to provide the backing. They took Ms Lavette back to Muscle Shoals Alabama, where her lost classic 1970s album was cut for Atlantic Records and then shelved, hence the title.
The Truckers Patterson Hood and their cohort David Barbe take the production duties as Muscle Shoals sessioneers Spooner Oldham and David Hood (Patterson's father) join the Truckers to add further layers of meaning to the sessions. The Truckers sound nothing like the Truckers, they sound like a great R & B backing band. This is Ms Lavette's album and they kepp in the background bringing her gritty, emotive voice to the fore and filling in the spaces.
It is an album full of great interpretations of songs but the one original song, the autobiographic "Before the Money Came (The Battle of Bettye LaVette)" is a highlight. What an achievement!