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A Woman Like Me

( 4 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
"I can feel the pain, Lord, it's raining in my heart," Bettye LaVette howls on "The Forecast," and it sounds like it. On this stunning comeback -- her first American release in over 20 years -- the feisty soul singer rips through an hour of music with the pent-up hunger of a caged tiger at feeding time. Helped immeasurably by producer/songwriter Dennis Walker, best known for his breakout work with Robert Cray, LaVette moans, screams, shouts, pleads, and growls her way through a dozen tracks that'll leave even the most jaded R&B fan begging for more. One of the casualties of music biz politics, LaVette has a style that has only sharpened with age. In her mid-fifties at ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
"I can feel the pain, Lord, it's raining in my heart," Bettye LaVette howls on "The Forecast," and it sounds like it. On this stunning comeback -- her first American release in over 20 years -- the feisty soul singer rips through an hour of music with the pent-up hunger of a caged tiger at feeding time. Helped immeasurably by producer/songwriter Dennis Walker, best known for his breakout work with Robert Cray, LaVette moans, screams, shouts, pleads, and growls her way through a dozen tracks that'll leave even the most jaded R&B fan begging for more. One of the casualties of music biz politics, LaVette has a style that has only sharpened with age. In her mid-fifties at the time of this recording, the singer has a husky voice that tears at the edges, adding deeper emotion. Although the production leans toward the slick side, it leaves room for the singer to dominate each track. Walker, who wrote or co-wrote nine of these tunes, provides heart-tugging yet defiant material perfect for LaVette's take-no-prisoners approach. The singer plays the part of the scorned, aggressive woman, left behind but strong enough to know she's better off without that no-good scoundrel. Song tiles such as "Salt in My Wounds," "Serves Him Right," and "It Ain't Worth It After a While" tell the story without having to hear a lyric. LaVette squeezes every ounce of emotion from this material, lashing into it with a barely contained explosive delight. Like a stage actress, she builds up the tension gradually until igniting in a shower of yelps and repeated phrases similar to Otis Redding at his most impassioned. This is a powerful album -- moving, intense, and honest -- from an artist desperately making up for lost time. It's a success for everyone involved, and deserves to put Bettye LaVette back on American stages where she belongs.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/21/2003
  • Label: Blues Express
  • UPC: 803579000422
  • Catalog Number: 4
  • Sales rank: 27,622

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bettye LaVette Primary Artist
Cynthia Bass Background Vocals
Richard Cousins Bass
Bobby Murray Rhythm Guitar
Bruce Paulson Trombone
Tom Peterson Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Rudy Robinson Keyboards
Lee Spath Drums
Mike Turner Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Rhythm Guitar
Alan Mirikitani Guitar, Rhythm Guitar
Technical Credits
Greg Brown Composer
Buddy Johnson Composer
Bettye LaVette Producer
Tom Peterson Horn Arrangements
Paul Stubblebine Mastering
Dennis Walker Producer
Alan Mirikitani Producer
Sergio Ponzo Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    What a Find!

    Thank-you President Obama!
    The 1st time I ever heard of Ms. Bettye LaVette was a few days before President Obama was inaugurated, when she sang on The Mall with Jon Bon Jovi. All I wanted to say and know, was who is this magnificent person?!?
    A FABULOUS CD!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Bettye LaVette Has Recorded A Masterpiece

    Besides being one of the most gripping soul singers ever, Bettye LaVette's success in the USA has been minor. Don't get me wrong, she has many fans in America, but her talent is more appreciated in Europe where American soul artists are revered. LaVette (notice the spelling with the capital "V")is with a new record company (Blues Express), has a polished producer (Dennis Walker) who has taken several blues legends to Grammy wins (B. B. King, Johnny Lee Hooker and Robert Cray), and a stunning new CD called "A Woman Like Me." Often compared to Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner and Mavis Staples, Miss LaVette has her own unique singing style. Yes, she sounds like she was brought up singing gospel in a Baptist church, but instead, she grew up absorbing everything related to the blues. On this record, she runs the gamut. "Serves Him Right" is a sassy, revengeful shout in which Bettye yells at her man, "you can go to HELL for all I care..." Her voice is filled with hurt and sarcasm. In "Right Next Door" she regretfully laments having cheated on her lover. I was impressed with the orchestral arrangement on "Heaven" with a surpise viola section swooping in behind Bettye's lustful vocals. LaVette delivers an emotional ballad called "Through The Winter" in which she expresses doubt that her relationship will last. The real Tonight Show horn section was hired to support Bettye LaVette throughout this album and they are brilliant, especially on the title cut, "A Woman Like Me." Bettye pays homage to the blues with two cuts, "When the Blues Catch Up with You" and her self-penned, "Hey Hey Baby" (Bettye's Blues). As LaVette has said, "sometimes when I sing I get very emotional. Sometimes I feel like hollering." "Forcast" is so strong, I nearly didn't dare breathe throughout the song. Other singers would NOT have had the energy (or voice) to finish this, but Bettye pushed herself to the limit. Producer, Dennis Walker has great admiration and respect for his star and it shows on this CD. These are REAL musicians, not synthesizers and it makes a big difference. LaVette sings what she knows: soul music. Not the "new soul" ... THIS IS CLASSIC SOUL.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This Lady's Got Soul! Bravo, Bettye LaVette!

    Excellent CD by one of the three best female soul singers alive. Excellent material, sung with ferocious gusto by one of the pioneer soul singers. This is not hip/hop, but the type of soul that American Music is defined by these days. LaVette is a shouter who sounds like she was raised inside a Baptist church. "Serves Him Right" is scathing with LaVette's voice filled with hurt, rejection and scorn. Her ballads are soulful ballads sung with heartfelt pathos, but nothing maudlin. She can swing with the best of them AND can sing the mess out of some blues. There is not one bad track on the CD. This is a true winner and should take Miss LaVette to the heights of popularity.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews