Monday, October 22, 2018

Dylan Cover #347 Bettye LaVette "Political World"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a live cover by Bettye LaVette playing "Political World"

This month we are doing another special focus in RtBE's Dylan Covers series. In the past we have highlighted The ByrdsCoulson-Dean-McGuiness-FlintThe HolliesJoan OsbourneMountain and more. Now the spotlight shines on Bettye LaVette and her recently released Things Have Changed covers album.

Thoughts on Original:
The opener of Dylan's first good album in years didn't signal a return to form by any stretch. In retrospect it is the weakest song on Oh Mercy, generalized and cranky without much oomph behind it. Dylan mentioned in Chronicles that it was a follow up to "With God On Our Side" but if that is the case, it is a weak one. The shocking thing is now, thirty years removed, the song seems to have taken on added weight as the U.S.A becomes more tribal and fractured politically. 


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
RtBE first became aware of Bettye LaVette while watching The American Epic Sessions on PBS and were semi shocked to learn that until the last decade or so LaVette only had minor success in the industry. She is a powerhouse singer and can turn a phrase with the best of them, using Gospel, R&B, Soul and Funky backings to croon her way forward.

Thoughts on Cover:
And the successful covers just keep on coming for Ms. LaVette. Here she takes a lesser known number and uses her soulful voice and easy rolling funk backing (sounding straight out of The Meters backyard) to inject new life into the track. Oh and that guitar solo...some guy named Keith Richards adds some great rocking riffs to keep the track afloat in the swampy sounds. He may just have a career yet...

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