Monday, October 29, 2018

Dylan Cover #348 Bettye LaVette "What Was It You Wanted?"

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 "What Was It You Wanted?"

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:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
Oh Mercy brought Dylan back in from the creative wasteland that was his 1980's. It had an eerie sense of foreboding, helped by producer Daniel Lanois and the ghosts of New Orleans. The irritable old man in Dylan came out a bit here as well, and "What Was It You Wanted" is a good example of that, a confused searching feeling colors the lyrics as the protagonist just can't seem to get it right.


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:
We close our monthly focus with yet another stunning cover track from Betty LaVette. For "What Was It You Wanted?" she and her band dip into the New Orleans night to add atmosphere influenced by the original, but solely her own. The hand drums, eerie backing vocals and shaking tambourine all set the stage as LaVette's soulful vocals sing the way forward through the fog before NOLA's own Trombone Shorty injects his brass into things, elevating the track even further. This is an outstanding collection of Dylan covers, def the best full album of cover tracks we RtBE has come across.

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