R&B Legend Bettye LaVette to Make Café Carlyle Debut
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
TO MAKE CAFÉ CARLYLE DEBUT
“AN EVENING WITH BETTYE LAVETTE”
ALAN HILL, MUSICAL DIRECTOR
RARE NEW YORK APPEARANCE
EXCLUSIVE TWO-WEEK ENGAGEMENT
MAY 24 – JUNE 3
New York, NY (5/12/11) – The Carlyle Hotel (Erich Steinbock, Managing Director) is pleased to welcome R&B legend Betty LaVette – who the Huffington Post has dubbed “the high priestess of R&B”- to the legendary Café Carlyle in a rare New York appearance. Beginning Tuesday, May 24 (and playing through Friday, June 3), Ms. LaVette will showcase her inimitable style, gut wrenching vocals and songs from throughout her five decade career in a soul-shattering evening. She’ll be accompanied by a band led by her musical director Alan Hill.
Cited as “the last great vernacular black singer” by The New Yorker, Bettye LaVette has been honing her skills since her first single was released at the tender age of 16 in 1962. Yet it wasn’t until four decades later when she was signed to Anti- Records in 2004 that Bettye began to garner a wide audience. Before that, she seemed to be the best kept secret in the world of rhythm & blues. With the release of My Own Hell to Raise in 2005 and the follow up, Scene of the Crime out in 2007, public awareness of Bettye began to grow. As a result, she was invited to perform at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2008. Hers was such a riveting performance the producers of the show proceeded to ask Bettye to sing at President Obama’s Inaugural Celebration in front of the world. Meanwhile since the release of last year’s Interpretations: the British Rock Songbook, Bettye “now rivals Aretha Franklin as her generation’s most vital soul singer,” according to The New York Times. With two Grammy nominations under her belt and performances to sold-out venues all over the globe, Bettye is an undisputed world class interpreter of any genre of song.
The Café Carlyle is located in The Carlyle Hotel – 35 East 76th Street at Madison Avenue.
“An Evening with Bettye LaVette” plays Tuesday through Saturday (May 28 only) at 8:45PM. There is a $65 music charge ($40, bar) for the Tuesday-Thursday performances and a $75 music charge ($50, bar) for the Friday and Saturday performances. Dinner (required) is served from 6:30PM. For reservations please call 212-744-1600. For additional information, visit www.thecarlyle.com.
Born Betty Jo Haskins in Muskegon, Michigan on January 29, 1946, Bettye LaVette grew up in Detroit. Unlike many of her contemporaries, she did not begin singing in the church, but in her parents’ living room, singing R&B and C&W. She was only 16 when she recorded her first record, “My Man – He’s a Lovin’ Man”, in the fall of 1962. The record was picked up by Atlantic Records and went Top Ten on the R&B charts. Her first tour was with Clyde McPhatter, Ben E. King, and a then-unknown Otis Redding. She next hit the charts with “Let Me Down Easy” on Calla in 1965. It is considered by many to be one of the greatest soul recordings of all time. This led to a brief stint with The James Brown Revue. After recording several 45s for local Detroit labels, in 1969 Bettye signed to the Silver Fox label. She cut a handful of tracks, including two Top 40 R&B hits: “He Made A Woman Out Of Me” and “Do Your Duty” — the Memphis studio musicians on these recordings have since become known as The Dixie Flyers. In 1972, she signed once again with Atlantic/Atco. She was sent to Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Alabama to record what was to be her first full length album. Titled Child of the Seventies, it was produced by Brad Shapiro and featured the formidable Muscle Shoals rhythm section, now known as “The Swampers.” Although not released at the time as an album, a single from the sessions, “Your Turn To Cry,” was released and ranks high on the lists of most deep soul collectors. The mid 70s saw a brief stint and two 45s with Epic, and in 1978 she released the disco smash “Doin’ The Best That I Can.” In 1982, she was signed by her hometown label, Motown, and sent to Nashville to record. The resulting LP, Tell Me A Lie, was produced by Grammy Award winner Steve Buckingham. The first single, “Right In The Middle (Of Falling In Love)” hit the R&B Top 40. She briefly gave up recording, learned how to tap dance, and had a six year run in the touring company of the Broadway smash Bubbling Brown Sugar, appearing alongside both Honi Coles and Cab Calloway. In 2000, French record label owner Gilles Petard found the lost Child of the Seventies tapes in the Atlantic tape vaults and released it as Souvenirs. At the same time, Let Me Down Easy-Live In Concert, was issued by the Munich label in The Netherlands. Both albums sparked a renewed interest in LaVette and in 2003, A Woman Like Me (co-produced by Grammy Award winner Dennis Walker) was released. The CD won the 2004 W. C. Handy Award for “Comeback Blues Album of the Year.”After signing with The Rosebud Agency for personal appearances, Rosebud president Mike Kappus brought her to the attention of Anti- Records president, Andy Kaulkin. Upon seeing Bettye perform, Kaulkin signed her to a three record deal. For the first project, he paired her with Grammy Award winning producer Joe Henry, and suggested an album of songs written entirely by women. The resulting CD, I’ve Got My Own Hell To Raise, was on many critics’ “Best of 2005” lists. In 2006, she received a well-deserved “Pioneer Award” from The Rhythm and Blues Foundation. Her second Anti- album, The Scene of the Crime, was recorded in Muscle Shoals’ FAME Studios with alt-rockers Drive-By Truckers. On it, she transforms country and rock songs written by Willie Nelson, Elton John, and Don Henley, among others, into devastating mini-dramas. The title of the disc references the now infamous Child of the Seventies LP. The Scene of the Crime was nominated for a Grammy Award for “Best Contemporary Blues Album” and landed on numerous “Best of 2007” lists. In 2008, she received a BMA (Blues Music Award) for “Best Contemporary Female Blues Singer.” In December of 2008, she performed a showstopping version of “Love Reign O'er Me” at The Kennedy Center Honors in a tribute to The Who. In January 2009 she had the honor of performing “A Change Is Gonna Come” with Jon Bon Jovi for President elect Barack Obama on HBO's telecast of the kick-off Inaugural celebratory concert, We Are One. In April 2009 she shared the stage with Sir Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr at Radio City Music Hall for David Lynch's Change Begins Within benefit concert. June 2009 saw a 6 song EP, Change Is Gonna Come Sessions, an exclusively digital release. In May 2010 her 3rd Anti- CD, Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook was released to rave reviews. The concept was conceived by her husband, music maven Kevin Kiley, who was inspired by the critical acclaim that she received after her performance of “Love Reign O'er Me” at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2008. As the title implies, she re-invents songs from the British bands which were initially influenced by American R&B music. Bettye co-produced the record along with Rob Mathes and Michael Stevens, a relationship born at the Kennedy Center Honors and the We Are One events. It has just been nominated for a Grammy Award for “Best Contemporary Blues Album.” She has appeared on National Public Radio's World Cafe, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me, and performed a Tiny Desk Concert. She has appeared in the PBS series “Blues Divas,” and is in a film of the same name, both produced by award-winning filmmaker Robert Mugge. Recent national TV appearances include “Late Show with David Letterman,” “Late Night with Conan O'Brien,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” “Austin City Limits,” “The Prairie Home Companion,” “The Artist's Den,” “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show” and “The Tavis Smiley Show.”