If you’re spending the New Year’s holiday plugging in must-see concerts in your 2014 calendar, don’t miss the chance to see Betty LaVette, a rhythm and blues singer who cut her musical teeth in Detroit during the early and mid-1960s.
LaVette, 67, is one of the headliners at this weekend’s Anti-Freeze Blues Festival in Ferndale this weekend , The Oakland Press reports.
LaVette’s first hit was “My Man – He’s a Lovin’ Man,” released in 1962 when the artist was just 16.
The Muskegon native, who was born Betty Haskins, was unable to capitalize on the hit and slipped into relative obscurity in n industry that she calls “cruel and neglectful.” But she has enjoyed a resurgence over the past few years after releasing four critically acclaimed albums; working with producers like Drive-By Truckers’ Patterson Hood and Joe Henry; publishing her memoir, “A Woman Like Me”; and performing at the Kennedy Center Honors and for Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration.
She’s gotten some overdue recognition,including a Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award in 2006 and was her selection as Best Contemporary Female Blues Singer at the 2008 Blues Music Awards. Her 2007 album “The Scene of the Crime” and 2010’s “Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook” were both nominated for Grammys for Best Contemporary Blues Album.
“I think if I had been successful all those years maybe it would feel like 120 (years) — or 20,” she told the newspaper “When I was 16, I didn’t imagine having a 50th anniversary in (music). When you’re 16 and you say you’re going to do something forever, you aren’t really thinking about 50 years — you’re not thinking about anything, really. It wasn’t a conscious thought at all.
“There certainly is a sense of gratification, though.”
Details, Details, Details
What: The Anti-Freeze Blues Festival | When: Friday and Saturday, Jan 3-4; doors open at 7 p.m. both nights | Where: The Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale | Who: Ana Popovic, the Bobby Murray Band, Rattlesnake Shake and Erich Goebel & the Flying Crowbars perform Friday; Bettye LaVette, Laura Rain & the Caesars, the Greg Nagy Band and RJ’s Gang featuring Kenny Parker play Saturday. | Cost: Friday, $25; Saturday $35 | More information: Call (248) 544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.