The 1960’s is an eternal well of inspiration when it comes to fashion, lifestyle, and, of course, music. 60’s culture and music was many things, it was the beginning of the rock n’ roll era, the golden age of soul music, and then there was that which sat somewhere between both: the girl group. There were some on the more rock n’ roll side like the Ronettes and the Shangri-Las, and some more soulful like The Supremes and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. Nevertheless, while many of their vintage obsessed contemporaries are are steeped in psychedelic rock or Stax/Volt Memphis soul, Austin’s Charlie Faye & the Fayettes have a penchant for the sugarcoated swing of girl group pop music.
There may be some skepticism about musicians who draw heavily from earlier musics, but even at its peak in the early 1960’s, girl groups were taking on previous sounds as well with 50’s doo wop inspired vocal harmonies. Furthermore, while Charlie Faye & the Fayettes’ sound is marinated in the sweet and soulful pop of the 60’s , there’s no lack of modern flavor; like on “Eastside,” over a bouncing Motown-style bass groove, and a guitar riff that Steve Cropper would have be proud of if he wrote it, Faye sings about gentrification on East 6th street. The sound would mean nothing though if it wasn’t backed up by Faye’s skillful songwriting and her ear for infectious hooks. On “Sweet Little Messages” she shows off her song craft prowess, which at times sounds like a Holland/Dozier/Holland penned Supremes track.
Charlie Faye backed up by the Fayettes (Bettysoo & Akina Adderley) came into Studio 1A and played a few tracks from debut LP which will be released on Friday, May 6th at their record release show at The Townsend. Check it out at the bottom of the page.