For the past 33 years, Austin City Limits has been televising rare and intimate performances from some of the most important artists in music. On October 11th, soul legend Bettye LaVette will take her place in a long list of luminaries who have appeared on the show — everyone from Ray Charles to the Pixies, Van Morrison to the Dixie Chicks.
“When Austin City Limits debuted in 1975 with Willie Nelson as its first performer, no one – not the producers, not the network, not the fans, not even Willie – knew that this 60-minute show from a PBS station in a mid-level market would become a cultural institution. But we have, thanks to an impressive roster of artists drawn to our straightforward, no-muss-no-fuss aesthetic and a production team that works solely to highlight the artist. In studio 6A, the spotlight sits squarely where it needs to be: on the performance.”
Bettye LaVette will not disappoint. Playing with her scorching and perceptive backing band — Alan Hill on keyboards, Darryl Pierce on drums, Brett Lucas on guitar and Chuck Bartel on bass – the veteran performer has been honing her skills, touring non-stop in support of 2007’s critically acclaimed and Grammy nominated The Scene of the Crime.
Revered for her ability to take other’s compositions and make them her own, LaVette will be performing a number of covers during her performance on Austin City Limits, including the Elton John tear-jerker “Talking Old Soliders,” to which, characteristically, Bettye adds a certain amount of defiance missing from the original. Called “the album’s tour-de-force and true gravitational center” by Patterson Hood (The Scene of the Crime’s co-producer and member of Drive By Truckers, who backed Bettye on the record), “Talking Old Soldiers” has an accompanying video and tour.
LaVette’s Old Soldiers Tour continues through November:
9/20/2008 – Great Atlantic Blues and Beyond Festival – Halifax, NS CANADA
9/25/2008 – Ho Chunk Casino and Convention Center – Baraboo, WI
9/28/2008 – Bluebird Blues Festival – Largo, MD
10/4/2008 – Roots, Blues and BBQ Festival – Columbia, MO
10/18/2008 – Lake Eden Arts Festival – LEAF – Black Mountain, NC
11/14/2008 – Lucerne Blues Festival – Lucerne, SWITZERLAND