Yvette Landry 'No Man's Land' Self-release

This Louisiana native is adept at delivering straight up country and honky tonk. Landry has an enticing, believable and seductive voice that echoes the great country ladies of the past while still retaining her own identity. She is also a great writer in the spirit of pure country; while some may need three chords and the truth, she prefers three chords and a bottle, but there is also truth there. Witness this in the cutting couplet from the song Three Chords and a Bottle "I heard you tell the story that your good in bed, come on honey, let me tell you that's all in your head". There are many fine lines in her songs that will get the message across that this is a real woman looking at the real world.

Throughout the playing is top notch and Landry's co-production with Joel Savoy makes the music sound fresh and alive. This is about keeping a tradition alive and not changing it almost beyond recognition. Special mention must go to Richard Comeaux's fluid steel guitar playing. Other notables here include Cindy Cashdollar, Bill Kirchen, and Dirk Powell and the ensemble playing is always there to serve the song,  all of which are memorable and stand repeat listens. There is one outside song and that is Matt Kline's Lord, I Get High which is a slow paced lament on late night drinking and extolling the spirit. Heartbreak, loss and separation are all topics here, as they should on any real country album. This House is Not a Home, Little Gold Band, My Next Mr.Ex are all songs that deal with the diverse nature of the human condition, especially one that has the bar as the centre of attraction and solicitation. Landry's songs would doubtless find approval form the likes of Loretta Lynn as much as they do from anyone who listens to No Man's Land.

This is yet another album that shows that when it comes to honest-to-god country music it is the ladies who are largely leading the way. Yvette Landry is right up there at the forefront and this album has a lot of different ways of reminding me why I love this music. It may be a case of no man's land but this music is for everyone who likes it old school and real; a subject that Landry raises in What in the Hell They did Back Then, a song that asks how the great stars of the past did it without aid of reality shows and such to get their music across. They did it by making great music like this.

Stephen Rapid