Dublin, GA's E.G. Kight is also known as "The Georgia Songbird," because of her voice. She also plays rhythm guitar, and, on her fourth outing for Blue South Records, shows that she just keeps getting better as a songwriter. This time around she pulls in a trio of renowned guests to add extra spice to the mix of southern blues and soul.
The southern soul influence is evident from the outset, with some nice funky guitar chops from Bill Hinds on the opener "If You Ever Touch Me." Stir in a pinch of horns, with Marcus James doing a great job on sax, and Kight's southern twang, and you have a recipe for success. Things then divert through bluesier territory on the slower "Sad, Sad Sunday" which features more tasty guitar from Hinds, before returning to the opening mood with "'IF' Is A Mighty Big Word," one of several highly memorable original songs here.
The guests start to arrive for the party on "No Time For The Blues." The legendary Chuck Leavell is left to start things off with some sad New Orleans style piano, before the rhythm section--Johnny Fountain (bass) and Gary Porter (drums)--return to help out. Then from the downside of blues to the upside with "Let The Blues Move You" as Lee Roy Parnell (guitar) and Chris Hicks (uncredited vocals) show up for a happy rocking tune.
Things shift into Gospel territory for "Somebody's Gotta Give." Leavell returns on piano, and the fingersnapping chorus make this one irresistible. The guests then depart leaving the stage to talented teenage guitarist Michael Pierce. Based on this and Kight's previous album ("Trouble"), Pierce has an old head on young shoulders and certainly possesses the right stuff. He sticks around for a couple more tracks, including John Prine's excellent "Angel From Montgomery," where Kight's vocals are particularly outstanding, bearing favorable comparison to that other Songbird (Eva Cassidy).
The album finally rounds off in a lower key, with "Just One More," a tune co-written with Gaye Adegbalola (Saffire the Uppity Blueswomen). It is a melancholy tune, which features an emotive vocal by Kight only accompanied by Paul Hornsby on piano. Whilst it is a good performance, it might have been better to close out with something more uptempo.
With "Southern Comfort" the Georgia Songbird continues to soar ever upwards. Kight has been described in some quarters as a female Delbert McClinton, which is a pretty good description of her eclectic style, although it is rather more blues based than McClinton's. Aided and abetted by a very good blend of quality musicians that set her voice off just right, it all adds up to make "Southern Comfort" another fine album.
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