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Just go see Bettye LaVette

click to enlarge GABE MELINE
  • Gabe Meline

You don't want to mess with Bettye LaVette. This is for a number of reasons, chief among them that if you're heckling her, as I saw a fan do a few years ago, she'll walk right up and plant a huge kiss on your lips to shut you up.

You know, come to think of it, maybe you do want to mess with Bettye LaVette.

Live and in person at age 67, LaVette continues to erupt emotion from the very depths of her being, even while hip-shaking and leg-kicking her way through medleys of her 1960s hits. Now a dependable purveyor of well-selected covers—John Prine's "Souveneirs," Sinead O'Connor's "I Do Not What I Haven't Got," the Who's "Love, Reign O'er Me" to name a few—LaVette is a transfixing sight to behold onstage, and moreso in a small venue like the Sweetwater.

Don't miss it when a true soul legend appears with opener Earl Thomas on Sunday, Oct. 6, at the Sweetwater Music Hall. 19 Corte Madera Ave., Mill Valley. 8pm. $32. 415.388.3850.

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