Becky Lee & Drunkfoot, “Hello Black Halo” LP

cover-becky-lee-and-drunkfootIf the Dead Weather is when Jack White backs the Kills, then Becky Lee And Drunkfoot is the equivalent of Alison Mosshart fronting the White Stripes. Becky Lee and Drunkfoot is Becky Lee and her one-woman blues band. It’s a little dry and basic, although Becky Le certainly has a pleasant enough voice.

While I’m not suggesting that a female-fronted act is less intriguing when the frontwoman isn’t sultry as a generality, I will suggest that if Ms. Lee rocked something other than country church vocals, Hello Black Halo would certainly be more entertaining. It may simply be that when you’re playing a drum kit and guitar simultaneously, some form of emoting has to go out the window.

I just want to hear this woman wail, though. The songs are paced so metronomically as to induce a sort of hypnosis, and her voice is similar enough to Cowboy Junkies’ Margo Timmins that I keep expecting a Velvet Underground cover. It’s moody, but only one — I was expecting anger, rage, longing, contemplative per-violence silence … not all quietly plodding.

When she says, “When you see me coming, step aside” in “Man Like You,” I don’t believe it. I believe she thinks so, but Becky Lee doesn’t at any point convince me that she’s a dangerous woman. When you hear John Lee Hooker do “Bad Like Jesse James,” it’s a quiet, slow-paced number — if not outright sparse — but Hooker’s phrasing gives you the inkling that he might actually shoot you down.

Backy Lee’s a talented guitar player and capable drummer, but until there’s some fire in her belly and menace in her voice, this won’t be anything more than a vocal exercise. I hope she sticks with this, and Voodoo Rhythm‘s a great label for her, but for the moment, this isn’t worth rushing out to get (although, it’s available through the Voodoo Rhythm shop).

MP3: Becky Lee & Drunkfoot, “The Tracks”