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Bettye LaVette Things Have Changed Out Today

“this album is more hers – more personal and reflective of her wicked ways, sly humor and battle-tested wisdom – than any she’s made.” Rolling Stone

“Over a stalwart blues-rock backbeat, she reshuffles the verses and tinkers enough with the lyrics to make them her own; more important, she investigates every bleak, corrosive line…” The New York Times

“You could do much worse than to have Bettye LaVette interpret your songs but you really, truly couldn’t do much better.” Associated Press

“At the center of the sound is LaVette’s voice: a powerful, punchy instrument that wears its road-worn rasp well.” Rolling Stone Country

“After the first few tracks, with the unforced unpredictability of the arrangements, the quiet, determined way LaVette enters the music, the open spaces of the band…you realize you have no idea how any song is going to sound: what it will be.” Greil Marcus, Village Voice

“Bettye LaVette approaches her album of Bob Dylan covers the same way that she always makes a song hers: by burrowing deep inside, then finding her way out from the bottom up.” Relix

“the soul singer makes these songs feel new again, subverting them and, in the process, finding new layers of meaning within them.” Slant Magazine

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Tune in to Bettye LaVette’s performance on NPR’s Mountain Stage Beginning week after March 30

New York, New York (March 30, 2018) – Legendary singer and interpreter of songs Bettye LaVette’s new album Things Have Changed is out today. The Steve Jordan-produced album of Bob Dylan songs has received advanced praise already, Rolling Stone calling her “the foremost roots interpreters and shapers of popular song.”

Things Have Changed spans more than five decades of Dylan songs, from 1964’s immortal “The Times They Are A-Changin’” up to “Ain’t Talkin’,” the epic final track on his 2006 album Modern Times.

“Other people write songs, but he writes vignettes, more prose than poetry. I didn’t find his words to be pretty so much as they are extremely practical or extremely logical. He can work things like ‘go jump off a ledge’ into a song.”

Things Have Changed sees Dylan’s songs seriously transformed: “I had never really listened to ‘It Ain’t Me Babe,’ “ she says, “But I had to make it more dismissive—not fast and hard, but like a Jimmy Reed tune. And ‘The Times They Are A-Changin,’ I had to flip that all the way around, so we worked up the groove on a beatbox. That just made it extremely surprising.”

To pull off these transformations, LaVette needed a producer who was up to the challenge, and, through Executive Producer Carol Friedman, she found the perfect collaborator in Steve Jordan, former drummer in David Letterman’s house band, who has worked with everyone from Chuck Berry to John Mayer. “Steve was absolutely brilliant,” she says. “He remembers everything he has ever heard in his entire life, and he was able to interpret for the musician’s everything I said to him.”

Jordan brought in an A-Team of musicians, including Dylan’s long-time guitarist Larry Campbell, bass virtuoso Pino Palladino, and keyboardist Leon Pendarvis. The group was in such sync that the whole album was cut in just three days. Later, Keith Richards added guitar and is featured on “Political World” and New Orleans ace Trombone Shorty joined for “What Was It You Wanted.”

Grammy-nominated Bettye LaVette has been in show business for nearly six decades. Her first single “My Man – He’s A Lovin’ Man” was released on Atlantic Records in 1962, when she was only 16 years old. She continued recording until her resurgence came in the early aughts with a series of albums of interpretations, and in 2008 she wowed the audience at the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony with a heart-wrenching rendition of The Who’s “Love Reign O’er Me.” Her voice is like no other, and taking on the tricky canon of one of the most substantial songwriters alive is no small feat – but if anyone can match the heart of Bob Dylan, it’s Bettye LaVette.

Track List:
01. Things Have Changed
02. It Ain’t Me Babe
03. Political World
04. Don’t Fall Apart On Me Tonight
05. Seeing The Real You At Last
06. Mama, You Been On My Mind
07. Ain’t Talkin’
08. The Times They Are A-Changin’
09. What Was It You Wanted
10. Emotionally Yours
11. Do Right To Me Baby (Do Unto Others)
12. Going, Going, Gone

Things Have Changed Tour Dates:
April 5

World Cafe Live

Philadelphia, PA

 

April 6

City Winery

New York, NY

 

April 7

Club Helsinki

Hudson, NY

 

April 12

The Dakota

Minneapolis, MN

 

April 13

Old Town School of Folk

Chicago, IL

 

April 15

Jazz Café at Music Hall Center

Detroit, MI

 

April 18

Center for the Arts

Grass Valley, CA

 

April 19-20

Freight & Salvage

Berkeley, CA

 

April 22

Aladdin Theater

Portland, OR

 

April 23

Benaroya Hall

Seattle, WA

 

May 17

City Winery

Boston, MA

 

May 19

The Hamilton

Washington, DC

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