With male crooners such as Jamie Cullum and Michael Buble garnering attention, the time may just be right for Peter Salett.
Celebrating the release of his fourth album, “After a While” (Dusty Shoes Music), the Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter showed off a winning personality at the Hotel Cafe. His warm, easy, dreamy voice is perfectly suited for his atmospheric, sepia-tinged songs; it floats along on the gentle waves of his acoustic guitar and Matt Horn’s piano. Catherine Popper and Bill Dobrow provide an unhurried beat, and Don Piper on steel guitar adds hornlike leads that nudge the songs toward country music.
He’s the kind of performer who would have found a home on Asylum Records in the ’70s; at times, Salett comes across as a hybrid of labelmates Jackson Browne and Tim Moore. It’s an effective mix that has brought him some high-profile soundtrack placements, including on Salma Hayek-helmed “The Maldonado Miracle.”
Salett’s songs retain their cinematic quality in the Hotel Cafe’s close quarters. “If You’re Dreaming” has a lovely, swelling melody, while “Halcyon Days” moves with a heady lope. The album’s title track moves the farthest afield — a cracked waltz with Horn adding a ghostly synthesized calliope — and is easily the evening’s highlight.
Salett plays Santa Monica’s Temple Bar on Saturday and New York’s Fez on May 7.