Lavay Smith, Back For More

Smith, Skillet Lickers back at Cafe Du Nord: Aidin Vaziri | Smith’s famous Prohibition-era bob may have grown out since her band’s last release, 2000’s “Everybody’s Talkin’ ‘Bout Miss Thing!” but the music remains rooted in another time. On the new disc, the Skillet Lickers blast through mid-century classics by the likes of Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Ray Charles, along with a handful of be-boppin’ originals that Siebert and Smith wrote together. “I always think, ‘What do I want to sing nightly?’ ” said the woman who typically performs three to four gigs a week. She says feisty 1920s blues queen Bessie Smith continues to serve as her biggest source of inspiration. When pressed for some more contemporary vocalists that do it for her, Smith lists “Sam Cooke, Solomon Burke, Etta Jones …” What, no Beyoncé? “I love Beyoncé but I don’t listen to her records,” she said. Read more.

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