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Bettye LaVette: Thankful N' Thoughtful 


Coinciding with the release of her David Ritz co-written autobiography, A Woman Like Me, the fifth covers album in LaVette's comeback series confidently stands shoulder-to-shoulder with 2005's I've Got My Own Hell to Raise and 2010's Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook. Eschewing obvious cuts (Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" is an exception), a sage LaVette brings dirt-digging soul through the veins of country, blues, rock, and folk, injecting the dark lyrics of Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Kim McLean, and others with a hint of Great Recession melancholia and survivor's triumph. Produced by Craig Street, LaVette's turpentine phrasing is enveloped in Americana both glorious and respectful of space as she translates the nation's pain. (5 out of 5 stars)

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