Bettye LaVette: The Scene of the Crime

Bettye LaVette. <i>Anti-</i>.

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


Like a bumpy country road, sixtysomething Southern R&B veteran Bettye LaVette’s singing is full of rough spots, all the better to spotlight her thrilling intensity. Continuing the resurgence that began in 2005 with I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise, the remarkable The Scene of the Crime features a sizzling band that includes members of Drive-By Truckers—just imagine Tina Turner fronting the Stones circa 1968. As the voice of hard-earned experience, LaVette ponders the ravages of alcohol (“Choices”) and time (Elton John’s “Talking Old Soldiers”) and looks back at 45 years of career struggles in the funky “Before the Money Came (The Battle of Bettye LaVette),” exclaiming, “I’ve got so much to say.” Long may she roar.

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate