Bettye Lavette | Blackbirds
“Blackbirds” is produced by Steve Jordan, on Verve Records. It features songs primarily popularized by women who were the “bridge she came across on.” These women helped to set the stage for Bettye and her contemporaries. The album finds LaVette in top form with powerful renditions of songs that touched her personally. From Dinah Washington’s “Drinking Again,” Nina Simone’s “I Hold No Grudge,” Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit,” Nancy Wilson’s “Save Your Love For Me” and more, they are all delivered in LaVette’s rich and raspy tone and a touch of the blues. Blackbirds takes Bettye back to her roots, honoring her heritage as an R&B singer and the women who came before her. LaVette A&R’d and sequenced the record herself – her first true curation. Bettye Lavette is a native of Detroit who made her first recording in 1962 at the age of sixteen. She later toured with the James Brown Review and charted with such singles as “He Made A Woman Out Of Me” and “Do Your Duty.” Since then she has recorded ten albums.