Charlie Faye and the Fayettes
The Whole Shebang
Bigger Better More Records.
Spectacular Modern Retro Pop With Added Punch and Pow!
I’m a softie when it comes to girl groups, especially any band who emulates them and successfully updates the genre for modern times. The Prissteens wowed me with their punk rock back-beat, the Watson Twins’ backing Jenny Lewis gave me wonderful chills, and this time around it’s the soulful Charlie Faye and the Fayettes.
The Whole Shebang is twelve songs featuring a roster of Los Angeles-based musicians including drummer Pete Thomas of the Attractions, Telecaster master Bill Kirchen, and bassist Eric Holden. The Fayettes half of this band are the wonderfully talented and always charming BettySoo and Akina Adderley who do an admirable job with the sassy background singing. You can practically hear the choreography that goes on while they’re oohing and aahing. (Although I wish these fantastic vocals were a mite bit more present in the mix, just sayin’.) But mostly these songs are Charlie Faye’s vision of a world where a woman can make her own choices, free from the pressures of patriarchy, and where a smart, confident person can dance their troubles away. And confidence is the main thing here. There are no wishy-washy love songs or questioning your wants and motives on these tunes, Faye knows what she wants and how to go about getting it. The tunes may be retro-inspired, but the subject matter is clearly full 21st century, forward thinking, and post #MeToo movement.
The 1970s type production suites a few of the songs a bit better, especially when it transcends its purposeful paint by numbers sounds and goes for those chilly Farfisa lines and the lead violin in “Night People,” and they wisely take inspiration from the B-52’s on “You Gotta Give it Up (Party Song)” with its surf rock guitar and vocal playfulness.
The Whole Shebang gives us songs ranging from the joys of simple love to the joy of truthful independence, they have loads of soul, and you can tell these gals and guys are having fun while they rock out. The whole shebang, for sure.
Words and wisdom by The Legendary Roy Peak.
Released February 8th 2019