I recently went to check out Bettye LaVette and Booker T. I had only heard a couple of Bettye's songs, not too much really, but I did like what I heard. What got me to buy a ticket was this video of Ms. LaVette performing The Who's classic, Love Reign O'er Me, with Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey in the audience. Watch for yourself, it looks as if those two were going to cry. She was that good.
Not knowing much about Booker T., I was keen on catching his set. I'd always seen his name, from time to time, on Stax albums, his own band (Booker T. & The MGs), but I'd never been properly exposed to his music.
I left work early so I could arrive on time. I got there about 10-15 minutes after 8 (hard to find parking)...AND BOOKER T.'S SET WAS ALREADY DONE. I suspect he came on around 7.30 or something. Seriously! It was about 8.30, I had gotten a drink and ventured forth when I heard the words, "Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Bettye LaVette!". I swear I've never been to a show where the headliner came on so early. Some friends were supposed to meet me there as well, and they were nearby, so I texted them immediately to let them know she was on. They hustled down and barely made it in time to catch the last three or four songs. Crazy.
So I ended up missing Booker T., and Bettye LaVette was fantastic. I was surprised when she also busted out an Aimee Mann cover, which I now know is on her album, I've Got My Own Hell To Raise. If you know me, you know I'm a huge fan of Aimee, so that was a nice treat. I also picked up Booker T.'s new album, Potato Hole, and it's really cool. Seems like it's mostly covers, but there are a few songs I am unfamiliar with. I particularly like the cover of OutKast's Hey Ya.
Booker T. > Hey Ya
Bettye LaVette > How Am I Different?