Yvette Landry & The Jukes: ‘Louisiana Lovin’ warms soul

Yvette Landry & The Jukes

Yvette Landry & The Jukes at the Dockside Studio.

Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Yvette Landry shows some lovin’ to her home state and all the great music found within it on her new album, “Louisiana Lovin.’ ” Joining her on this journey to the past is her crack band The Jukes and Grammy-nominated musician Roddie Romero.

“I Need Somebody Bad” opens up the album. It’s a sad song but you can’t help but have your soul give a wide smile when you hear Landry’s warm, crystalline voice float along to the languid melody, with bright accompaniment from Richard Comeaux on pedal steel and Derek Huston on saxophone. It makes you want to sit on your porch by yourself with a glass of wine and a summer night’s sky above you, just drifting through memories of love, both good and bad. Somehow, gracefully, Landry found a way to make you feel happy and sad at the same time.

That’s not a unique feeling, either, as you cruise through “Louisiana Lovin’,” where songs tug at your heartstrings while also giving you a sense of joy deep down inside. “Homesick Blues” rises like a Sunday morning, depressed from the night before, looking for redemption somewhere in the bosom of love. The beauty of Romero and Landry’s whispered duet gives you reason to believe that love might just come around again. Their voices join again in bluesy matrimony on “I Almost Lost My Mind,” an upbeat ballad whose embers are kept warm by Huston’s spirited saxophone and Eric Adcock’s sprightly piano.

Yvette LandryIt’s not all smiling melancholy, though, with plenty of songs to kick off your shoes, shake your hips and get down to with The Jukes. “Daddy Daddy” is a slick blues shuffle that glides on the strength of Adcock’s shimmering piano strikes and Landry’s sultry vocals. “Yea Yea Baby” is a flirtatious duet between Romero and Landry that cruises to the juke joint on a doo-wop melody and the album closes on a rippin’ high note with the old rock and roll staple “Take It Easy Greasy,” with Adcock burning down the keys like Jerry Lee Lewis.

The biggest takeaway from the album is the supreme command Landry has over the music. It’s all music from her home state of Louisiana and she’s spent her musical career steeped in the musical melting pot of the state, everything from blues to cajun to country to folk.

She’s got songs by Bobby Charles, David Egan, Warren Storm and Cookie and his Cupcakes, masters of the old-school sound Landy and The Jukes are playing. The execution of these songs on “Louisiana Lovin’ ” almost seems to clarify what these songs might have felt and sounded like if you were to go back in time and go and listen to these tunes live.

Almost to underscore Landry’s pedigree, the musician served as the Library of Congress’ Cultural Ambassador to Russia, where she toured the country and played at the Festival of Traditional American Music. She’s also taken her talents to the Library of Congress and the John F. Kennedy Center of Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. She knows the history of this music, knows its in’s and out’s and where the heart of each song is. To listen to her perform this music is to listen to someone sing aloud from the pages of history. What’s not to love?

— Garrett Bethmann

  • Yvette Landry & The Jukes
    ‘Louisiana Lovin’ ‘
    Release: July 27, 2018

 

About Garrett Bethmann

Garrett Bethmann is a graduate of University of Mary Washington with a degree in English. He moved to Lake Tahoe in summer 2012.

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