It’s not uncommon on a TV singing competition for a judge to tell a contestant that they “own” a song when they do a new take on a famous classic. It’s less common for the author of a song to offer such a compliment.
But that’s just what happened when Moody Blues frontman Justin Hayward described to Radio.com his reaction to hearing soul singer Bettye LaVette’s take on the band’s iconic 1967 single, “Nights In White Satin.”
“I burst into tears,” he said, “I just could not help myself. I wrote the song when I was 19, coming on 20 years old, but I heard it for the first time when I was 64 years old. She’s one of the true, true greats.”
As for his own music, Hayward has a new solo album, Spirits Of The Western Sky, which he worked on with bluegrass musicians. “This little group of bluegrass players just sounded right for my voice,” he explained of the unlikely pairing.
He also kicks off a solo U.S. tour in August, and this will be a stripped-down affair featuring mostly acoustic instruments.
As for the Moody Blues? He says that he doesn’t see them recording a new album any time soon, but they have no plans to retire from the road, and are even thinking about shaking up their setlists a bit. They’ll be doing a U.S. tour in the fall, after Hayward’s wraps up.
— Brian Ives, Radio.com