Bentley’s Bandstand: No Man’s Land Review

Yvette Landry, No Man’s Land.

Straight outta Beaux Bridge, Louisiana comes Yvette Landry, a singer who knows her way around all the things that can make life a mysterious dance full of inspiration and intrigue. The way she handles the quiet and not-so-quiet warfare between man and woman sure makes it seem like she’s been there, but who knows? Maybe it’s just her fertile imagination and plenty of on-the-job observations. Landry’s song titles alone say so much: “Dog House Blues,” “Three Chords and a Bottle,” “My Next Mr. Ex” and “This House Is Not a Home.” Even the lone cover, “Lord, I Get High,” is a seamless fit into her world. It’s the kind of album that should be handed out at couples therapy and divorce court alike, and maybe even high school homemaking classes to let the youngsters in on what lies ahead.

The last song, “When I Die,” is a sobering assessment of the hope that awaits everyone in the next life, and how it might be a blessing after all. When Yvette Landry sings of “the fighting being over,” the chills run all the way to the bone while the weeping steel guitar drives the final nails in the coffin. There is a Southern fatalism that runs through the land below the Mason Dixon line. Producer Jim Dickinson used to say it was because the South “lost the war.” Could be, or maybe it’s just the way a sweet release from the struggles of living there is such a long time coming. Either way, Yvette Landry has a direct line on those struggles and that release. She stands up to the former and keeps pushing for the latter, showing what a Louisiana woman can be counted on to do. Yeah, you right.

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