Soulful songstress and composer E.G. Kight has been away for a few years, and there's good reason for that: she battled meningitis and encephalitis—not just one, which is bad e-damn-nough, but both!—for a year, thank God defeating the bastard diseases, recovering, taking a new lease on life, now getting back to business…and that's what you get right 'tchere, y'all, that same ol' spunk with new spark and vigor. Some say she's adopted a more positivistic slant in her blues stylings. Okay, but, frankly, I don't quite hear it, save perhaps in the gospel Don't Give Up and the frisky Let's Get Down. Otherwise, Kight's just as earthy, laconic, lamentive, and pensive as ever ('n you and I know, dear reader, that she was never brimstone and hellfire to begin with). Catch her and Tom Horner's Comin' Down with the Blues if you think I'm exaggerating, then look to the hope and redemption pervading the disc for what the other crits are hearing.
Can't Catch the Wind is as Janis Joplin-esque as I've ever heard E.G., minus Joplin's unearthly electrifying histrionics, blended with the Bonnie Bramlett she displayed in Lip Service (here). Janis did, y'all, have a mellow side, you know that, oft pregnant with leashed passion, and that's what you get here. Kight's Bad Times duet with Greg Nagy, though, is a standout 'cause, man!, Nagy sure knows exactly how to complement Kight's work and raise her vocal profile a notch. Then there's the matter of the return of the estimable Tommy Talton, Randall Bramblett, and Paul Hornsby to the house band, with Ken Wynn playing a mighty fine lead gee-tar when Tommy steps aside.
My favorite cut? Yep, it's one of the highsiders: Let's Get Down, a cookin', hi-energy, git-them-feets-a-dancin'-Jethro! kinda modern hoedown. After that, I have a soft spot for Misunderstood, though Wynn dragged my ears back in right afterwards in the intro to the Maria Muldaur-ish Low Mileage Woman, E.G. sassy, unabashed, upfront, and not exactly shy at any point. Like Let's Get Down, it has swing and verve, and if 45 RPM singles were still in vogue, it'd pair up beautfully, the disc flying off the shelves. So is the chanteuse back in full glory? Oh hell yes, and with a renewed sense of everything.
One last item: E.G.'s also penned a new classic line in Time to Move On, wherein she laments the departure of a lover and avers "My bed feels like a tombstone". That ain't a verse, y'all, that's haiku, and, 'fess up now, everyone reading this knows pree-cise-leee what she's singing 'bout…and if you'll excuse me, I need to lay a wreath of flowers around my own mattress and headboard.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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