While Yvette’s CD was not the only focus on Ben Sandmel’s recent article, The Sounds of CenLA, it certainly got some attention. Ben writes:
“One of swamp pop’s biggest national hits was “I’m Leaving It Up To You” by Dale and Grace. Recorded in Baton Rouge, it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks in 1963. A great new rendition of this South Louisiana favorite, sung by Yvette Landry and Roddie Romero, appears on Landry’s recent album Me & T-Coe’s Country (www.YvetteLandry.com). Romero is a fiery multi-instrumentalist and singer whose popular band, the Hub City All Stars, plays the entire breadth of South Louisiana roots music. Landry is likewise a passionate singer and multi-instrumentalist whose varied resumé includes a ten-year stint in the Grammy-nominated Cajun band Bonsoir Catin. Appropriately, she and Romero harmonize on “I’m Leaving It Up To You” with full-band backing. But the rest of this album finds Landry in a duo setting with the virtuosic pedal steel guitarist Richard Comeaux, a.k.a. T-Coe, focusing primarily on classic country music from the 1950s –‘70s. Landry’s supple, sultry voice convincingly evokes the feel of the Patsy Cline/Loretta Lynn school without any trace of self-conscious revivalism. To the contrary, Landry sounds like these women’s peer, and, like them, she can croon sweetly or sing rough-edged, as the moment demands. Comeaux remains similarly faithful to this vintage idiom while also creating a distinctly personal and adventurous style. He draws on jazz, rock, blues, swing and more, with a penchant for offbeat accents and dramatic dynamics. Some of Comeaux’s solos go far afield, but effectively and deliberately so, and he always lands with seamless grace to segue back into Landry’s next vocal. Throughout this album the interplay between Landry and Comeaux is exquisitely unadorned and unhurried with eloquent intervals of stark, dramatic silence that epitomize the concept of less is more.
While Landry is a skilled and prolific songwriter, only two of her originals appear here. Many of the songs on Me and T-Coe’s Country—including Patsy Cline’s “I Fall To Pieces,” and Hank Williams’ “Cold, Cold Heart”—have been recorded so often that one might initially question the point of reprising them again. But Landry and Comeaux’s renditions are so fresh, deeply soulful, and in-the-moment that the album is continually captivating. To use clichéd music-journalist jargon, Yvette Landry and Richard Comeaux absolutely inhabit this familiar material. In doing so, they show precisely why these songs are timeless favorites.”
Ben Sandmel is a New Orleans-based freelance writer, folklorist, and producer and is the former drummer for the Hackberry Ramblers. Learn more about his latest book, Ernie K-Doe: The R&B Emperor of New Orleans, by visiting erniekdoebook.com. The K-Doe biography was selected for the Kirkus Reviews list of best nonfiction books for 2012.
View the entire article at: http://louisianaculturalvistas.org/the-sounds-of-cenla/