Steel-guitar shaman Richard Comeaux has been part of Yvette Landry’s country aggregation for a few years, but when Landry needed a duo partner for the smaller gigs a year-and-a-half ago, playing with T-Coe (as he’s alternatively known) just clicked.
Obviously it clicks here, too, on this predominantly one-of-a-kind vintage country affair. Many of the classics, “Tennessee Waltz,” “Cold, Cold Heart” and “I Fall to Pieces,” are slowed down considerably to allow for the talents of both to be front and center, unencumbered by an otherwise full-size band.
It’s an amazingly deep album full of layered listens and focuses. On one level, steel-guitar fans will likely drool over Comeaux’s infinitively limitless technique of picks, slides, glides, rolls, growls, howls and sacred harmonics that’s almost as if he were a one-man steel-guitar convention. Listening to Comeaux’s extended solos―a rarity since most steelers are relegated to briefer rides for the ego of the vocalist―becomes a mood-altering, if not spiritual, experience.
On another level, Landry’s slightly syncopated vocal interpretations are often stunning, sometimes playful, as on “Can I Go Home with You,” and sometimes astounding, such as on the end of “A Church, a Courtroom and then Goodbye” —where she belts out, “And [pause] then [pause] goodbyeeeeeee” to the heavens.
Though this wasn’t intended to showcase any Yvette Landry material, “Memories of Clelia”—with its full-blown imagery of loaded pistols, dusty bibles and departed souls—is quite the tearjerkin’ tearjerker.
When you listen to this one, remember to keep the Kleenex close by and the box of razors out of sight.