GYPSY  SWING, SOUTHERN BLUES, POPULAR STANDARDS    COMING STRAIGHT OUT OF SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA


Lava: Cool Aural Chick Flicks for Your Listening Pleasure.  By Rob Patterson

If there is a heaven and when/if I get there, the welcoming voice I expect I’ll hear is a woman singing. I may be a wham-bam rock’n’roll lad at heart, but it’s still cool girls with eloquent and emotive songs that get the muscle in my chest fluttering. And in this post Lilith Fair era where female singers and songwriters are a dime a dozen, here’s four standouts who sing not just for their fellow women—but also we men who love them—and what they feel and experience, have to share with us.

Ann Savoy & Her Sleepless Knights Black Coffee Memphis Records

The unique musical place inhabited by Ann Savoy is notable in good part due to how she keeps expanding it from an actual and spiritual Cajun homestead of Eunice, Louisiana to horizons ever more exotic. So of course it makes perfect sense to take her considerable talents as a respected folklorist and handily adept singer, musician and producer—a rare combo that’s nicely combustible when found together—to a Parisian Hot Club. And since she brings along the bayou, Crescent City, delta and Tin Pan Alley, her second revisit to the Continental consciousness and pop classics simmers with that old Gypsy black music plus a delectable swamp-bred mojo.

Her work with husband, accordionist and fellow folklorist Marc Savoy in the Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band, superb duet disc with Linda Ronstadt, Adieu False Heart, tributes to Cajun music like Evangeline Made and all-female band The Magnolia Sisters all attest to how Ann Savoy has become a musical force of nature. And this swingin’ platter’s prime charm is its warm naturalism that Savoy, fiddler Kevin Wimmer, guitarist/singer Tom Mitchell and accompanying rhythm section bring to Bessie Smith’s “Whoa, Tilly Take Your Time” and “You’ve Been A Good Ole Wagon,” Django Reinhardt’s “Nuages,” Fats Waller’s “If It Ain’t Love,” Johnny Mercer’s “If You Were Mine,” and her duet with Mitchell on George & Ira Gershwin’s “Embraceable You” With a voice more solid than necessarily stunning, the heart Savoy brings to a landmark song like “My Funny Valentine” hits right where the lifeblood of true love pumps to prove this a set that transcends time and its reference places to achieve cherished stature for anyone who enjoys old school made anew.