Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Music Notes--Jeanne Lay and Fat Tuesday at The Harbor

I hope I get a chance to Jeanne Lay and Fat Tuesday again. Not because they were good, but because I suspect they are better than the performance I saw last Thursday at The Harbor. A bluesy-rock outfit, they churned through a number of standard tunes, most played with either some technical glitch or one or more members of the band just a little off in timing or tone.
An example of the problems encountered by the group came during the Elvis classic “Suspicious Minds.” Played ably by Lay and the instrumentalists, the background vocals came off flat and sometimes louder than the lead. I can give the female background singer a bit of a pass because, with two injured legs, she spent the evening in a wheelchair, and I suspect should could not use her diaphragm as well as she should have.
On other songs, sax or guitar solos came late or didn’t seem connected to the song at all. Some time into the concert, the bass player and drummer got a chance for solos. Most of these just seemed to be player doing what he would normally do during the song, with no other instruments in the way. It was as if they were practicing.
Ms. Lay herself does have a fine voice, a kind of Wynona with an extra kick for rock fans. On most of the songs, she performed as well as one might expect, though a bit emotionless at times, despite the substandard presentation by her support. On “Fire,” for instance, she was able to exude the sensuality of the song quite well, and the sax solo was really nice. But the rest of the group was dreary and subtracted from the energy.
Each member showed fine talent and ability. Unfortunately, the concert, as a whole, didn’t come together.

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