The Scene of the Crime
First off, stop reading this and go listen to the last track, "I Guess We Shouldn't Talk About That Now." OK, wait for the goose bumps to go down and for your heart to drop back down into your chest. Resume reading. Bettye LaVette follows up I've Got My Own Hell to Raise (one of 2005's best releases) with this deeply satisfying collaboration with the alt-country outfit Drive-By Truckers. LaVette rocks like nobody's business, but when she lays back and sings a ballad such as "Choices" or "Talking Old Soldiers," a lifetime of hard-earned experience and pain comes pouring out.