Chicago’s blues/soul/jazz trio the Claudettes recently released No Hotel (Yellow Dog Records), the follow up to 2013’s fully instrumental Infernal Piano Plot…HATCHED! Previously a piano and drums duo of Johnny Iguana and Michael Caskey, the Claudettes have expanded into a trio with Nigerian/American singer and dancer Yana.
No Hotel (named after the phrase that appeared on the band’s most deflating venue contract offer thus far), is an album that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into the past, yet it’s very much fresh and energizing. The Claudettes bring on the roots scene as you have never heard it before. Yana’s pop-soul voice is straight out of the 60s and blends so well with the drumsticks, piano hammers, and vintage swagger that create the Claudettes’ sound.
Fun fact- Claudette herself, the Illinois bar owner who formed the Claudettes as her house band, is to be credited for bringing Yana to the group. Excellent choice, Claudette.
If you have yet to pick up No Hotel, download the first track here exclusively. “Big Easy Woman” is big fun with powerful piano chords. A good pick-me up song, indeed!