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Bettye LaVette, ‘The Scene of the Crime’ (Anti-)

The indie Tina Turner follows up her tightly wound 2005 comeback, I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise, in the company of Drive-By Truckers and Muscle Shoals vets, whose mannered blues shuffles unfortunately sound like they’re backing a beer commercial. On the better, slower songs by Elton John and Uncle Ray, the band trades slide guitar for pedal steel, and LaVette’s fierce voice drops to a whisper. Then, on Willie Nelson’s pleading ballad “Somebody Pick Up My Pieces,” devastation ensues.

Now Hear This: Bettye LaVette – “Before the Money Came (The Battle of Bettye LaVette)” DOWNLOAD MP3