Yvette Landry’s a natural. She played bass for just months before turning pro with the Lafayette Rhythm Devils. That led to a second band, Bonsoir, Catin; not bad for never planning a career in music. Now she has had a similar upshot as a songwriter, crafting an album’s worth of quality songs and recording them within nine months.
Her debut is not Cajun but vintage country. She nails the country ambience with references to honky tonks, heartaches and hangovers, not to mention bedroom tension, pickup trucks and battered, old guitars. Several tracks, such as the Cajun fiddle-peppered rockabilly title track and the madly swinging “Blue Moon Girl,” are five-star dancehall specials that feature flashy, in-the-honky-tonk-idiom solos from Red Stick Ramblers’ electric guitarist Chas Justus, steel guitarist Richard Comeaux and Wilders’ fiddler Betsie Ellis. With its clippity-clop beat, “One More Broken Heart” has an early Ray Price feel while “Jack” is flat-out bluegrass.
But Landry’s not out to sell another well drink or pitcher of stale beer. As an emerging songwriter, her stuff can be deep. On “Can’t See Me with You,” she pauses a full beat after delivering critical lines (“I can tell by your touch you’re leaving”) to add a bit of mystery and intrigue. She delivers lines such as “the deeper the pain, the harder the heart” that resonate with the psyche. Debut discs from yearling songwriters aren’t supposed to be this good.