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Change Is Gonna Come Sessions - EP

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Editors’ Notes

If one of your favorite musical sets of the Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial happened to be the moment when cult soul diva Bettye LaVette sang Sam Cooke’s “Change Is Gonna Come” with Jon Bon Jovi, get ready for a truly amazing treat. On this 2009 EP, LaVette revisited and recorded a cooler sauntering version (sans the New Jersey rocker) with a gripping vocal performance that overflows with incredible emotion. LaVette’s bluesy and soulful renditions on the other standards here are equally impressive. Thelonious Monk’s “’Round Midnight” gets a slow burning feel with minimal piano touches and cinematic sounding orchestral accompaniment as her emotional voice sounds like it could fall apart at any moment — but it only gets stronger. She even gives Billie Holiday’s “God Bless the Child” a thicker, smoky mood, while Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life” gets decorated with dainty violins and a loungy piano. Aside from the title track, LaVette’s fevered groove on a percussion-only accompanied version of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” is the next best thing.

Customer Reviews

Bettye Is Queen

Live or interpreting songs on disc, Bettye Lavette is today's "Queen of Soul." Just a correction, it was Jon Bon Jovi watching her sing "Change Is Gonna Come" at the pre-inaugural concert. Check her website for a wonderful picture of Bettye with President Obama. Happy times!

Change A Come

That was Jon BonJovi with Bettye at the inaugural event in Jan. 2009. And yes, I thought it was the musical highlight of the show. All these tunes are given their due by this unheralded mistress of the blues.

Nice work

Very enjoyable recording. Lavette tries some jazz stylings and some blues and more than succeeds. Worth getting for God Bless the Child and Ain't No Sunshine. Great to see Lavette get the recognition and opportunities after so many years of being in the wilderness. Nice work and a real bargain for this strong performance of top material.


Born: January 26, 1946 in Muskegon, MI

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A perennial cult favorite in Northern soul circles, singer Bettye LaVette was born in Muskegon, MI, on January 29, 1946. Raised primarily across the state in Detroit, at 16 she cut her first sides for the local Lupine label, with a test pressing of the disc making its way to Atlantic Records. After signing with Atlantic, she scored an R&B Top Ten hit out of the box with her debut single, "My Man -- He's a Loving Man," only to fail to reach the same commercial heights again. After one more Atlantic...
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Change Is Gonna Come Sessions - EP, Bettye LaVette
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