What Was It You Wanted - Bettye LaVette

from the album Things Have Changed (2018)

When most people think of Bob Dylan, they recall all the great songs he wrote and recorded in the 1960's and '70's; up until the time period when he began to record religious tunes.  They are some of the greatest songs ever written, ultimately earning him the Nobel Prize in Literature.  These songs were famously recorded by artists like Jimi Hendrix, The Byrds, and Johnny Cash.

Unfortuantely, the masses do not give much consideration to Dylan's music from the '80's and beyond.  It is a mesmerizing body of work.  Artists who have recorded these songs - like Sufjan Steven, Garth Brooks, and Sinead O'Connor - have all been rewarded with great success.

On her new album - Things Have Changed - blues and soul icon Bettye LaVette releases a collection of Dylan covers, with all (but two) coming from his post-Street Legal songbook.

Who better to pay tribute to the latter gems in Bob Dylan's vast catalogue than Bettye LaVette?  Her first single, My Man - He's A Lovin' Man, was released in 1962; the same year that Dylan debuted his first release  Yet, Ms. LaVette never reached widespread notoriety until her own second act kicked in, fifteen - or so - years ago.

My favorite track on this stellar album is What Was It You Wanted, a song which Dylan released on 1989's Oh Mercy.

The song features a deliciously funky bass line over downtempo congas.  The soundscape is given depth by a sparse arrangement of keyboards, synths, and tasty guitar licks with heavy effects.  Over this, Bettye LaVette offers a signature vocal performance.

The song also includes a solo by Trombone Shorty.  As always, his performance slides right into the groove and elevates the song.

This record is pure magic for a Dylan aficionado like myself.

Click Here to listen to What Was It You Wanted by Bettye LaVette.