Bettye Puts Own Spin On (Mostly) Familiar Rock Songs

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    Back in the day, song stylist Nancy Wilson recorded an album titled “Broadway My Way” and another called “Hollywood My Way,” and she did exactly what the titles suggested.

    Now it’s Bettye LaVette’s turn. Her album is titled “Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook.”

    To appreciate her bluesy take on songs like Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed,” the Who’s “Love Reign O’er Me,” Ringo Starr’s “It Don’t Come Easy,” Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” and the Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin,” it’s best to try to put the originals out of your mind.

    That’s because LaVette, with her “achingly expressive,” raw, passionate voice, takes them to completely different places and it works, although you might need to play the album in its entirety a couple of times to get the full impact.

    We are so happy for Bettye LaVette’s long-delayed success. She’s a big star now and rightly so.

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    Ellen DeGeneres is also starting a label, with the focus being on young artists who need a chance to record.

    Kem’s third album is finally on the way. An Aug. 10 date has been set. The title is “Intimacy.” We are hoping that Owens will add  some new, surprise elements, so that this album will not sound so similar to the first two which, of course, were very good.

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