Knit to This
Knit to This: New from Bettye LaVette
I sort of hope that this is a bit of a bringing-coals-to-Newcastle situation and that you’ve been on the Bettye LaVette train ever since her stunning “comeback” with My Own Hell to Raise in 2005. But if not, well, I’m certainly glad to be of help.
Her brand new LaVette! keeps her by now legendary status thrumming along full-force, with a batch of songs all written by almost-original Sea Level member Randall Bramblett. With several albums’ worth of covers of very famous songs in her past, I loved that I wasn’t familiar with these; the record is less about “what’s she gonna do with something I know very very well?” and more about “what can she build from the ground up?”
Now, if you know Bramblett’s work already, you might not experience that, but I didn’t so I did. There are not a lot of people in this world who can bend a song to her will quite like Bettye LaVette, and sometimes I wonder if songwriters envy her just a little because she manages to find something in a song of theirs that they didn’t quite know was there. Let’s call up Bob Dylan and ask!
I don’t always love it when people make a big deal about or act surprised when an older artist makes a great record; the implications are that the well runs dry when you hit a certain age or that you can’t possibly have something to say at that point and that we should just clappy clap clap because they’re still upright. Well, those are just lies, lies, lies, and I blame Big Youth.
I just don’t believe you can truly sing a song about regret at age 24, sorry (don’t @ me! My blocking finger is itchy!). But … it’s hard to avoid noting that LaVette is 77 years old and that she might have some thoughts about regret and maybe we should really listen to her.
If Bettye LaVette is new to you, you’ve got a really rich back catalog to pop on the hi-fi. If she’s not new to you, you’ll love LaVette! as much as the others. And if you ever get the chance to see her live, you should do it. You’ll hate yourself for not being half so vibrant and energetic and … relevant.
The prize? We get to see lots of excellent yarns when we make choices for the MDK Shop, so this week’s prize comes courtesy of our ecommerce manager … it’s “Natasha’s Choice Mystery Bag.”
While we’ve got your attention, browse the Sale aisle here.
How to enter?
Step 1: Sign up for MDK emails, right here. External Link. Opens in new window.. External Link. Opens in new window.. External Link. Opens in new window.. External Link. Opens in new window.. If you’re already signed up, you’re all set. We have a new option for texting, so when you sign up for those, you’ll get a coupon code good for 10% off your next MDK order.
Step 2: MDK readers never let the well run dry. Let us know in the comments what new (or newish) to you activity you’re into to keep it fresh and funky.
Deadline for entries: Sunday, July 9, 11:59 PM Central time. We’ll draw a random winner from the entries. Winner will be notified by email.