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Thankful N' Thoughtful

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Audio CD, September 25, 2012
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I'm Not the One from "Thankful n' Thoughtful"


This is the moment—the record, the book, the culmination of a lifetime of near-triumphs. This is Bettye LaVette’s triumphant year, her 50th in show business.
“Miss LaVette now rivals Aretha Franklin as this generation’s most vital soul singer,” proclaims the New York Times.
“With a voice as powerful as Etta James and a story as compelling as Tina ... Read more in Amazon's Bettye LaVette Store

Visit Amazon's Bettye LaVette Store
for 19 albums, photos, videos, and 12 full streaming songs.

Frequently Bought Together

Thankful N' Thoughtful + Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook + I've Got My Own Hell to Raise
Price for all three: $36.65

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 25, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ANTI Records
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,068 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Everything Is Broken - 3:44
2. I'm Not The One - 3:32
3. Dirty Old Town - 3:53
4. The More I Search (The More I Die) - 4:22
5. I'm Tired - 3:16
6. Crazy - 5:47
7. Yesterday Is Here - 3:38
8. Thankful N' Thoughtful - 4:21
9. Fair Enough - 3:16
10. Time Will Do The Talking - 4:02
11. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere - 3:17
12. Dirty Old Town (slow version) - 7:01

Editorial Reviews

In celebration of her 50th year in show business is Bettye LaVette's 2012 studio album timed with Penguin Books' release of her autobiography. LaVette's story has always been intertwined with her music she is known for her deeply personal interpretations of songs, even changing lyrics to personalize the songs to her life and world. The new album features Bettye's take on the classic folk tune "Dirty Old Town," made famous by the Pogues plus songs by the Black Keys, Sly Stone, Tom Waits, Neil Young, and Bob Dylan, and you have Bettye's grittiest, funkiest album to date.

Customer Reviews

Very much an individual conception.
Andre S. Grindle
Bettye is a ferociously intelligent singer whose commitment to the meaning of a song is absolute.
A reader
If you don't know Bettye LaVette you need to become her new friend!
Linda V. Mungia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Paul F. Kopilak on September 28, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I'm only giving this five stars because I can't give it ten! Bettye is a woman who's only gotten critical acclaim in the last ten years or so and yet she's every damn good and better in most cases than any soul diva you care to name! She takes a song and interprets it in her own way breathing fire and passion into it that brings original songwriters to tears as Pete Townsend was in the Kennedy Center Honors when she nailed "Love Reign Oe'r Me".
On her latest she covers a host of varied songwriters from Tom Waits to Neil Young and does a smashing job on every track. Opening with "Everything's Broken", everything you'd want from a modern blues track she lures you in with a voice that just doesn't quit. "I'm Not The One" follows with a tough woman laying down the law and from what I've read so far in her new bio, "A Woman Like Me" [also highly recommended] this track could have been written for her.
She breathes new life into two different takes of a D'abo penned Rod Stewart ballad, "Dirty Old Town", one more uptempo while the other more smokey blues.
One of my favorite tracks is "I'm Tired" originally done by the Brit Blues combo, Savoy Brown but seriously with the instrument this woman possesses with her voice, she could sing the dictionary and put chills up your spine or tears in your eyes! She's just THAT GOOD!!!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A reader VINE VOICE on September 30, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Bettye LaVette is a force of nature. That she is still alive and kicking hard after 50 years of slogging around the peripheries of show business is a testament to the power of this extraordinary musician. The story of her success, which continues to grow at the age of 66 (born January 29, 1946), is bittersweet and heartwarming. Her bio can be found in many places and she's been very busy giving interviews in support of this new CD, so I'll simply focus on the music at hand.

I was lucky enough to hear her perform most of this CD live before I picked it up at the release party in New York City. I'm still buzzing from the experience. The song selection is brilliant here, with every cut reflecting some aspect of her life experience, personality or philosophy. Bettye is quoted as saying that she doesn't care who wrote a song or who sang it: once she sings it, it's an R&B song and it belongs to HER. Indeed, it does.

Bettye is a ferociously intelligent singer whose commitment to the meaning of a song is absolute. Combine that commitment with one of the funkiest and most expressive R&B voices ever, and the sterling contribution of her band, who serve Bettye in the manner she deserves, and you've got the makings of high art. Her mission seems to be to strive for an authenticity, honesty, self-reflection and unself-righteous sermonizing that most performers can't touch. Listen to her renditions of Dylan's "Everything is Broken," the Gnarls Barkley hit "Crazy," Sly Stone's "Thankful N' Thoughtful," Beth Nielsen Chapman's "Fair Enough," and the remarkable "The More I Search The More I Die," and you'll see what I mean.

A special highlight is "Dirty Old Town," done two ways.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By G. E. Harrison on October 1, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Bettye is back with another album of classy soulful covers, this time produced by Craig Street, probably best known for his work on Norah Jones gazillion-selling "Come Away with Me" but he's also worked with Cassandra Wilson, k.d. lang, John Legend and Chris Whitley. This album carries on in the same style as her previous albums "I've Got My Own Hell to Raise" and "Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook" - stripped-down, sparse arrangements of various interesting songs that highlight Bettye's excellent world-weary, tortured voice.

As with the previous albums I think that this formula can wear a bit thin and that some covers work (Sly Stone's title track) while others don't (Beth Nielsen Chapman's "Fair Enough") and I still can't decide if Betty's re-write of Ewan MacColl's "Dirty old town" (transferred from Salford UK to Detroit USA) works or not. I thought that Dylan's "Everything Is Broken" was a bit predictable and that the Black Keys' "I'm Not the One" was a bit pedestrian but Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" is transformed into a downhome blues (?!?) and the Savoy Brown Blues Band's "I'm Tired" is rescued from obsurity for a funky workout. There are also nice covers of songs by Neil Young and Tom Waits but ultimately this album is about that wonderful voice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Red on Black TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 1, 2012
Format: Audio CD
A great album from a great Detroit soul singer and the word "thankful" doesn't come close. Bettye LaVette is one of those singers who like Mavis Staples has never quite garnered the respect she deserves. She is lauded in critical circles and by lovers of soul, has paid her dues and then some; but the world is a cruel place and as more below par warblers are inflicted upon us in programmes like the X factor, true talent is sidelined. Bettye LaVette celebrates her 50th anniversary in the music business this year and it has seen her tour with the premier division of rhythm and blues musicians such Clyde McPhatter, Ben E. King, Barbara Lynn and Otis Redding. Her past is very colourful and her recently published autobiography "A Woman like me" is understood to be a salty good read.

On "Thankful n Thoughtful" she produces an album which you listen to in marvel. That voice could sing the menu down the local Tandoori house and make you weep, just check out the two covers of Ewan MacColl's "Dirty old town" one very soulful the other so full of emotion its almost impossible to get that lump out of your throat. Her version of Neil Young's "Everyone knows this is nowhere" takes Shakey's plaintive country rock and infuses it with a passion that you never thought possible. Equally she turns Gnarls Barkley's pumping dance anthem "Crazy" into a haunting raw blues song that you should really seek out as a matter of urgency. Other great covers of the Black Keys "Im not the one", Patty Griffin's lovely ""Time will do the talking" and Bob Dylan's "Everything is broken" are included and amply demonstrate the sheer versatility of an artist who has seen and done it all. However it is her New Orleans music hall version of Tom Waits "Yesterday is here" that steals the show.
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