Blues singer Miss Lavelle White is keeping the genre alive

Ruben Paquian

With up and coming artists as well as music hall of famers calling Austin home, it’s easy to miss hidden gems such as blues legend Miss Lavelle White.

At 88 years old, White has worked alongside blues legends such as B.B King and Otis Redding, and now performs in Austin with a residency every Sunday at Antone’s. Miss White keeps the genre alive by taking the stage herself and by promoting young Austin blues musicians.

After White’s time with Memphis-based Duke Records and performing around the country, she made her way to Austin where she met Clifford Antone, founder of legendary Austin music venue Antone’s. Ever since, she has called Texas’ capital her home.

“I’ve been here (in Austin) for a long time, about 35 years, and I love it,” White said. “(Clifford) and I was like family. He was a real good guy, he did a lot for musicians.”

White does what she can to encourage Austin’s young blues artists. White said that over the past three decades she’s been in Austin the city’s blues scene has only gotten better.

“Music is getting to be real good here, and there is a lot of younger musicians that coming up and think they’re great,” White said. “I just tell them to keep doing the good work and keep going on.”

White refuses to slow down, she said she hopes to soon release some more singles this year focused on spreading the message of love.

“I want the world to come together and stop hating one another,” White said. “I want to let them show love instead of hatred. We need to think about others as well as ourselves.”