Frenchie Moe – Way Down In Hustleville
9 songs time – 36:27
New Orleans based singer-guitarist Frenchie Moe presents music in the New Orleans and blues-rock formats for the most part. All cover songs except for one written by her. Her affected and exaggerated vocal delivery tends to obliterate too many of the lyrics, making for a sometimes unsatisfying listening experience. Her guitar playing on the other hand is quite nicely done in a blues to blues-rock vein. Keyboard man Scott Perro brings a lot of melodic piano, organ and accordion to the plate. Scott adds bass pedals occasionally to supplement the bass of Andrew Taylor And Scott Perro. A trio of drummers are utilized at various times throughout.
The title song “Way Down In Hustleville” is propelled by Ian Petillo’s New Orleans style second line drumming along with the Professor Longhair style piano. Frenchie’s guitar accents range from standard guitar to the use of wah-wah to good effect. She gets into a gospel-tinged blues on “Trouble’s Trouble” that is bolstered by churchy organ, Frenchie’s blues guitar, plus piano. The New Orleans flavored “Quelque Chose Chez Toi” is mainly sung in French, but with her delivery you would be hard pressed to differentiate it from her English. She duets with drummer Jarvis MCelos on the infectious groove of “Hot Time”. His rugged voice is a nice contrast to her whiny vocal.
Now for something completely different, an instrumental. The jazz inflected “Slim Chance Tonight” for Frenchie’s stylized guitar set against Scott Perro’s elegant piano. A requisite Calypso groove infuses Dr. John’s “Mos’ Scocious”. Her vocal makes you miss the Doctor’s more suitable growl, but she regains points for her atmospherically correct wah-wah guitar solo. “Dog’s Life” is a slow blues that allows for a nice bluesy guitar solo. Scott adds his melodic organ and accordion to this one. Back to Nawlins for “Too Much Fun” courtesy of New Orleans syncopated second line drumming and New Orleans style piano tinkling.
Maybe it is a personal preference, but I find her vocal delivery to be distractive. Her guitar skills and the first rate group of musicians she has put together make it an easier pill to swallow. It is all good intentioned and hopefully many will find much to like within.