Charlie Faye & The Fayettes – The Whole Shebang
Their debut album, released back in 2016, was equal parts bubblegum and Motown (to be clear, we mean bubblegum in the best sense of the word – all hook, no crap). Charlie Faye & The Fayettes pick up right where they left off with their new one, The Whole Shebang. The melodies are strong and the performances even stronger, influenced by some very noteworthy additions to the band.
As it turns out, Faye is a big fan of Rockpile. Having heard their cover of the Otis Redding classic “Let’s Talk About Us”, she covered it in her live sets. Eventually, Faye felt she needed to write a song with that kind of feel to it. The resulting tune is “Stone Cold Fox”, and it’s just one of several memorable tracks here.
She’s also recruited Pete Thomas into the fold, making for a terrific band. Guest musicians include the aforementioned Attractions drummer, Eric Holden on bass/organ/baritone guitar, Marcus Watkins on guitar, and Chris Joyner on keys.
My personal favorite song on Shebang is “I Don’t Need No Baby”. With lyrics such as “How could a girl not want a man like you? Get a clue!”, one might describe it as sixties with attitude. Interestingly enough, it was originally written as a prompt for a TV show.
Other highlights include “The Cream Rises to the Top”, “Night People” and “Baby, We’ll Be Okay”, the latter of which definitely has an Edmunds/Lowe strain running through it. The only hiccup here is the final song, “You Gotta Give It Up”. It’s a political call to arms with a sound that’s more early 80’s Go Go’s than anything. The song isn’t bad. It simply feels out of place here.
Charlie Faye & The Fayettes’ The Whole Shebang will be released on February 8. You can preorder it through iTunes.