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EG Kight - Lip Service

Blue South Records - Vizztone Label Group

12 tracks/47:

Many blues fans are unfamiliar with EG Kight, even though she has garnered numerous Blues Music Award nominations in the Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year category over the last decade. Surrounded by music all of her life, Kight had a career as a country singer until one fateful day when she discovered the work of KoKo Taylor and knew that she wanted to be a blues singer. One listen to her latest release with be all it takes to convince you that she made the right decision.

Kight’s singing voice is a marvelous instrument with full of southern soul and plenty of power. And, like all accomplished vocalists, she keeps her voice under control while still being able to generate a low-down feeling like she does on “I Can’t Turn Him Off”. On a disc full of highlights, her duet with John Nemeth on “Somewhere Down Deep” is a standout track with both voices soaring in gospel intensity as they describe a failing love affair. On the ballad “That’s How a Woman Loves”, Kight delivers a subdued performance that still resonates with a potent emotional impact.

Kight is also a fine songwriter, composing three tunes on her own and co-writing all but one of the rest of the set list, with help from Tom Horner on half of the tracks. Their wry description of the current financial issues notes that times are so bad that even the “Sugar Daddies” have been forced to scale back on their gifts to their uptown girls. The rockin’ title track gets a boost from Marcus Henderson’s alto sax and Randall Bramblett on piano. Kight begins by describing her disgust at the way men had treated her before adding a twist at the end that changes the meaning of the title phrase. On Paul Hornsby’s moody ballad “It’s Gonna Rain All Night”, Kight sounds like an accomplished torch singer, serenading the late-night customers of a classy bar. The stripped-down accompaniment on “I’m Happy With the One I Got Now” features Tommy Talton on slide guitar as Kight tells the world about her good-lovin’ man.

The disc is dedicated to the late KoKo Taylor, who Kight describes as a friend and mentor. Her “KoKo’s Song” is the best of the many songs I have heard that were written in tribute to the undisputed Queen of the Blues. The band lays down a tough, propulsive rhythm punctuated by Henderson’s sax and Adam Mewherter on trombone. The music and Kight’s forceful vocal capture the essence of Taylor’s style without resorting to sheer imitation. On “I’m In It to Win It” and “Goodbye”; the proceedings take on a decidedly funkier approach as Kight continues her examination of the trials and tribulations of love.

The leader gets support from large cast of musicians. The primary contributors are Talton on lead guitar, Johnny Fountain on bass, Bill Stewart on drums plus Bramblett and Hornsby on keyboards. Kight handles the rhythm guitar parts and the backing vocals with an assist from Kimberly Welch.

During a recent road trip, I decided to listen to Lip Service in preparation for writing this review. After two songs, my wife asked who was singing and grabbed the CD package. Usually she is telling me to turn the music off. But she quickly recognized that EG Kight is a very talented singer and songwriter. My wife’s reaction to a few minutes of her spellbinding music speaks volumes on how good this disc is.

You don’t want to miss this highly recommended recording. Help make EG Kight a household name !!!!.

Reviewer  Mark Thompson is president of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL. He has been listening to music of all kinds for fifty years. The first concert he attended was in Chicago with The Mothers of Invention and Cream. Life has never been the same.

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