15. August 2021 By Walter Price 0

Sunday Classic GTC: BETTE SMITH – Jetlagger

Bette Smith – Jetlagger is available at Bandcamp, Apple Music, Tidal.


by Walter Price

Every once in a while, someone comes along whose vocal abilities will turn your socks inside out. Bedford-Stuyvesant’s soul/R&B superstar on the rise Bette Smith is such an artist. Sure, at first there are thoughts of early Tina Turner, Etta James, and the like, but soon after the realization that this singer is a certain kind of magic all her own prevails. The raw magnetism throughout her 2017 album ‘Jetlagger’ doesn’t fit any particular box. And Smith, who clearly respects the voices who’ve come before her, puts her own dynamically unique powers behind her tunes.

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Although tracks like “Durty Hustlin’”, “Do Your Thing”, and “Flying Sweet Angel of Joy” are undeniable highlights on the album. I’d have to say that the title track is worth checking out first. A gateway drug into this artist’s wares. With its cool 60s vibe and maintained energy, you’ll get a sense of what Smith is capable of.

And if you really want to see a dedicated performer at work, check out the Live version of “Jetlagger” from the World Cafe (WXPN/NPR) performance. Watching Smith’s face and body movements as she twists and manipulates her vocal cords into a vast range of emotional righteousness is a treat for any music lover. Socks beware…

[27. May 2019]


Bette Smith – Vocals
Jimbo Mathus – Guitars, Keyboards & Background Vocals
Bronson Tew – Drums & Background Vocals
Matt Patton – Bass & Background Vocals
Scott “Pako” – Goolsby 2nd Guitar
Starlin Browning – Guitar on “I Found Love” Jamison Hollister Violin
Marc Franklin & Kirk Smothers – Horns
Bette Smith + Susan Marshall – Background Vocals

Produced by Jimbo Mathus
Recorded by Bronson Tew @ Dial Back Sound (Water Valley, MS)
Horn and Vocal Overdubs @ Delta-Sonic Sound (Memphis, TN)
“I will feed you” mixed by Clay Jones
Assistant Engineer Starlin Browning
mastered by Clay Jones @ Pete’s Room
Photography Shervin Lainez
Package Design Kerri Mahoney

Video, Recorded Live for World Cafe


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It’s very spiritual and I go into a trance when I’m singing. The fans are like family. I feel very loved. They are very present. 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. It feels like a homecoming. There’s an instant feeling of family reunion. They talk to me like they met their little sister. It’s the same love in New York, Nashville, or Spain. When I sing these songs, it’s a connection of inner children. I’m singing to their inner child.” – Bette Smith

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