The arrival of Bernadette Seacrest and her Provocateurs' reads like a vignette from a 1950s issue of Detective Stories, its pages frayed and marked by the occasional cigarette burn….
First, Dear Reader, we observe the Tattooed Siren as she appears, seemingly out of nowhere, on stages across the Southwest. With her cronies, the Long Goners followed by her Yes Men, she begins the seduction of audiences who have accidentally stumbled into the nocturnal lairs in which she is crooning. The word spreads, nightclubs fill, the press fawns and the legend grows. Next, Europe calls, and it's a straight shot across the Ocean to Paris and a whirlwind tour of France ensues. Then, suddenly, even as the audiences' roars are still ringing in her ears, she disappears without a trace or whisper; the proverbial cat melting into the night. As fast as she has appeared, the girl with the Voice and the Look is gone.
Now the scene changes to the other side of the country, the Atlanta of the Deep South. Here we find that Charles Williams, (guitar), and Kris Dale, (bass), have been careening through adventures with their own twists and turns including negotiating the maelstroms of another legendary icon of national repute, Col. Bruce Hampton. Williams played with the infamous Aquarium Rescue Unit featuring Hampton, and now leads the Bonaventure Quartet. Dale is holding down the low end with Col. Hampton's Quark Alliance. Both regularly log time with a veritable Who's Who of the Atlanta music scene. Time rolls on.
Then, one night, Williams finds a cryptic note slipped under his door: "I want to sing again. Can you help? B. Seacrest" He calls Dale and says, "we need to talk…"
Yes, Dear Reader, the Sultry One had re-emerged and within a few short months, the Provocateurs are born. Next Bernadette wins the Creative Loafing's Best New Singer 2007. Williams begins penning new tunes and in late 2009 Bernadette Seacrest and Her Provocateurs present their debut CD, 'The Filthy South Sessions,' a collection of songs that range from the All Mighty's drinking habits to an epic lament about a Diner at the End of the World with stops in between…
A unique group, these Provocateurs and their Tattooed Siren are, with a lean sparseness distinguishing their sound from most other groups. With one guitar, one bass, and the Voice with the Look, they explore the soft underbelly of that which some call jazz, others may call blues, and still others may perceive as swing noire. It is a world they inhabit easily and decorate with that of their own tastes and beckon you, Dear Listener, to join them….