FRIDAY, SEPT. 30
Bette Smith garnered great praise when her album The Good, the Bad, and the Bette was released in the fall of 2020. Now with Festivals returning at last, audiences can experience the sassy, soulful singer live and see why Smith is being compared to Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, and the Bettys (Davis and Wright).
Smith broke out big with Jetlagger, which was lauded by NPR, Paste, Billboard, and The New York Times. MOJO proclaimed it “an incredible debut from the next big-voiced soul sensation out of Brooklyn,” while American Songwriter hailed Smith as “swaggering proof that there is nothing dated about soulful rock and roll sung with attitude, defiance, and a take-no-prisoners aesthetic.”
The Good, the Bad, and the Bette builds upon Jetlagger’s captivating rock/soul/gospel sound, with Patton succeeding in his desire to go deeper into Smith’s rock side. As Pop Matters raved, “this album leaves no doubt that Smith is a formidable talent who can turn even the most heartfelt ballad into a soul-razing rocker.” Under the Radar similarly observed that the release takes “rugged combination of southern soul, gospel, and rock ’n’ roll … to new heights.”
Released by Ruf Records, the album also is a highly personal one for Smith as her songs address the pain of her childhood traumas while also expressing her life-affirming “’I once was lost but now I’m found’ belief. As Smith explains, “Often people think I’m very confident and strong but they don’t know I’ve faced many obstacles and traumas I fought hard to overcome.”
Smith finds performing to a be a very spiritual experience, and relishes the opportunity to sing for live audiences again. “It’s amazing, like a dream come true,” she reveals. “The fans are like family. I feel very loved. I went through all of this so I could sing and, now that I can sing, I’m finding the love that I’ve been looking for all my life.”
Roundly heralded as “a major new voice in soul music,” Smith has been living up to the accolades for her two majestic albums and rousing live performances. The Good, the Bad, and the Bette, like Jetlagger, topped the Roots Music Report’s Blues Soul Album chart.