Okay, somehow a week has slipped by since Uzee and I drove down to Long Island to hear Bettye LaVette. (Where exactly does the time go? Please let me know when you figure it out.) Anyway, that concert was, if not the greatest I ever heard, at least one of the three greatest I ever heard. And I've been to a lot of concerts.
For the record, the other two standouts that leap to mind are
Jane's Addiction, Tucson, AZ, 1989 (following the release of Nothing's Shocking); and
Baaba Maal, Rabat, Morocco, 1996 (in an outdoor arena that his big voice completely filled).
Honorable mentions include Koko Taylor in a jammed club in Tucson; Lucinda Williams, ditto; and The Tragically Hip, ditto again. These were all in the early '90s, which is when I went to the bulk of my concerts. The Black Keys were also great, last month in Boston, as I mentioned in an earlier posting.
But Bettye... oh man that woman can rock. She also came out to the lobby after the show (in a tiny theatre, 400-odd seats) and signed CDs and called everybody "honey" and was generally adorable.
Here's another clip from YouTube, just because I can't resist, from a TV appearance a few weeks back.