For someone who scored one hit in the early ’60s and then struggled repeatedly to gain further recognition, Bettye LaVette has certainly found some refreshing payback in the past decade. It’s not just a matter of record nerds sticking up for neglected work, either. Her three recent albums for Anti- still display a voice that wrenchingly brings back everything people tend to forget about R&B—particularly its gospel exultation and scary-lonesome blues. She’s brought it to some unexpected arenas of late, as with 2010’s Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook, a dramatic covers set including The Who’s “Love Reign O’er Me” and Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here,” as well as on 2007’s The Scene Of The Crime, which paired her with Drive-By Truckers. LaVette’s more than just well-preserved: These days she’s regally besting a couple younger generations-worth of soul artists.