BETTYE LAVETTE at the Winter Garden Theatre, Thursday, November 1. Rating: NNN
You'd never guess that Bettye LaVette was stuck in airplane limbo hell for the past 12 hours. She started her Thursday night show 45 minutes late due to flight issues caused by Hurricane Sandy's devastating effect on her home state of New Jersey. But she was brimming with energy as she boogied and shimmied her way around the Winter Garden stage.
Hot on the heels of a new album, Thankful N' Thoughtful, and the release of her new tell-all memoir, The Woman In Me, she cheekily joked with the audience about her "overnight success story" and the various strife-ridden tours of her, at times, tumultuous career.
Her voice sounded great, too, as she wailed her way through a cover-heavy set, belting out her own souled-up variations of songs by Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Lucinda Williams.
She mainly stuck to newer material, performing tracks off her last three albums and bypassing fan favourites like Let Me Down Easy and Do Your Duty. After one encore and two standing ovations LaVette sent her band away and sang a cappella, leaving fans standing in hushed reverence until the very last note.