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Andy Scott: Don’t Tempt Fate

That Andy Scott and Madeleine Peyroux have established a mutual admiration society seems entirely reasonable. They’re cut from the same exquisite musical cloth. Like Peyroux, Scott is an enticing oxymoron who seems not of this century yet entirely contemporary. He and Peyroux have often worked together, and the multitalented vocalist/guitarist/pianist invited her to produce Don’t Tempt Fate, which might more accurately have been titled Andy Scott Unplugged. She declined, but agreed to participate in other ways, twining voices with Scott on the percolating title track and elsewhere playing guitar and ukulele.

Scott’s laidback style and whiskey ‘n’ honey voice suggest Bob Dorough and Dave Frishberg at their coolly intelligent best. As a songwriter, Scott scales equally lofty heights. There is a deceptive simplicity to his storytelling that echoes the observational acuity of Paul Simon, but the melodic sophistication of his tunes also hints at the elegance of Jule Styne and Richard Rodgers. Whether extolling the sweetness of immediate gratification (“Rainy Day”) or the sunshiny freedom of self-satisfaction (“Fishin'”) or the immense worth of perseverance (“Learning to Fly”), Scott has an uncommon ability to stimulate universal themes and get to the very heart of the matter.

Originally Published