Few are the artists whose songs have escaped the interpretive clutches of Bettye LaVette
— and that’s a good thing! She’s infused the lyrics of Fiona Apple,
Willie Nelson, Lucinda Williams, Elton John, and Sinead O’Connor with
the gritty exhilaration of Detroit
rhythm and blues. She evokes Bessie Smith and Aretha Franklin with her
bluesy growl, which has the electric energy and power of a country
roadhouse’s neon sign, visible at a distance. She ignites the winter
night tonight at Scullers Jazz Club (400 Soldiers Field Road, Allston, 617.783.0090). Shows are at 8 and 10 p.m. Get tickets ($28) at www.ticketweb.com.