▼ The Filthy South Sessions by Bernadette Seacrest & Her Provocateurs. Back in the early part of this century, Bernadette Seacrest, then with a band called The Yes Men, was a fixture on the Albuquerque and Santa Fe circuit, playing her smoky, sultry, sexy torch songs and cocktail jazz. The group broke up by the end of 2005 and Seacrest grew discouraged with the music biz in general. She flew south. But she reemerged in Atlanta with a new band, The Provocateurs, and she sounds as smoky, sultry, and sexy as ever.
All the songs on this album are written by her guitarist, Charles Williams. (The other Provocateur is Kris Dale, whose main instrument is double bass.) The tunes are all well suited for Seacrest’s voice and persona, and a few really stand out.
“Empty Streets” is slow and ominous with its refrain, “I love you, daddy, but put down that gun”— it sounds like it could be straight out of some film noir soundtrack. “G-d’s Been Drinking” — which starts out with a sweet, a cappella “Amazing Grace” — is bound to invite comparisons with Tom Waits (“When the locusts start to flyin’ I started thinkin’ / What would happen if God started drinkin’”).
“The Rain Has Rained Away” hints at Seacrest’s rockabilly roots (an early band of hers was The Long Goners), with a cool steel-guitar solo by Dale.
Most of the tracks feature the basic band, but the up-tempo “Where Does it Hurt,” which has guest drums and organ, is a treat, as is “Trashcan Lens,” which features a horn section and brake-drum percussion.
It’s great to hear from Bernadette again. Check out bernadetteseacrest.com.
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