If you believe her biography A Woman Like Me - and why shouldn't you? - the career of Bettye LaVette has not been a glorious success story. She writes openheartedly about the pimps who ruined her and the star status that appeared to be so close, but slipped through her fingers after some bad decisions. The book gives a rare raw glimpse of the soul scene of the 1960s and 70s. Yet so many good things came from it: wonderful songs. These are as raw as the biography. For fifty years the queen of soul has sung about her sorrows. And now is the time to reap the benefits. Besides her book, 2012 also saw the release of the beautiful album Thankful N' Thoughtful, on which she sings songs by Tom Waits, The Black Keys and others. LaVette has a voice drenched in gospel and blues that has retained the same power over the past fifty years.