44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: I've Got My Own Hell to Raise (Audio CD)
Bettye LaVette can't sing. Lavette can "sang." Time and sour taste has weathered her voice and bent a weird saddened state to her phrasing but it works here. She sounds like the last great gospel singer. She has the kind of voice that Aretha should have if she fell on hard times.
The entire production is showstopping but the care she gives to Dolly Parton's work is masterful. It's an utter shame that this work might be ignored when awards are handed out but that's not the point. The point is that her work has gravity to it in a time when music is all about prodcution above everything else.
Only Mavis Staples and the still great Etta James can come close to evoking such an a lived in performance to another's material.