Lavay Smith's retro swing
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It was probably an unhappy star that led me to try listening to Everybody's Talkin' 'Bout Miss Thing .
Standing on the store's porch this morning I thought about how tired I was of retro pop culture. I laughed at the appearance of the chin beard. People younger than me trying to recreate images from the time of my parents. An image that was a media creation. All that (ahem) cool lounge crap with people wearing pseudo-Hawaiian tourist shirts was created by advertising agencies and media conglomerates (however smaller they were back then).
For a time it can be amusing to see people emulate the typography of a 1950s Esquire ad. Retro celebrates an artificial species of safe unconventionality. If I were a semiotician I might say the signs are all heterosexual normal. Women have oomph and curves. Men are just guys, plain fellows who want pussy and a good time.
You can't help but pity kids who after hippies and punk dig in the junk pile of bogus pop culture to formulate a style.
None of this has anything to do with Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers. Smith stays safely within the boundaries of jazz influenced pop singer and mild blues shouter. Her singing is always competent but never imaginative. Sometimes Billie Holiday intrudes a little too much for my taste. Alluding to genius is risky.
The musicianship is topnotch. But I can't see a reason to listen to this unless you've really exhausted the pleasure of Louis Jordan , Big Maybelle and a host of original jump blues bands and blues shouters.