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Popularly known as “the Georgia Songbird” and imbued with the influence of the legendary Koko Taylor, EG Kight sets a standard all her own.
A singer and musician specializing in Chicago blues, she’s as classy, sassy, confident and credible as they come. That’s been proven as her past efforts alongside George Jones, B.B. King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Merle Haggard, Luther Allison, Hubert Sumlin, Taj Mahal and Pinetop Perkins will readily attest.
The winner of multiple Blues Music Award nominations, she renews her storied standing with her first album in nearly a decade. Though several of its songs are standards — Willie Dixon’s “Evil,” Robert Johnson’s classic “Come On In My Kitchen” and a singular take on Leonard Cohen’s moving “Hallelujah” in particular — they blend effortlessly with Kight’s searing and spirited originals.
The rest of her trio — guitarist Ken Wynn and drummer/percussionist/harpist Gary Porter — add adroit accompaniment, albeit in a stripped setting. Kight provides new hues for the blues while ensuring they remain compelling and engaging all at the same time.
BLUES & BEYOND: Georgia songbird sings sweet Southern soul
EG Kight’s ‘Trio Sessions’ keeps her diverse sound lean, never mean
By HAL HOROWITZ – Tuesday June 30, 2020
She has been called, and enthusiastically embraced as, the “Georgia Songbird” for virtually her entire professional life. But singer/songwriter/guitarist/photographer EG Kight is more than that. Her music encompasses a vast swath of the Southern sound — blues, jazz, soul, gospel, and country. And she has effortlessly combined these genres since switching from pure C&W to a more blues-based approach in the mid-’90s.
Kight has been a full-time musician, fronting her own bands and doing solo shows, since 1977 (her debut recording was released in 1982). But she hit her bluesy stride in 1995 after being exposed to Koko Taylor, who later became a friend and mentor (Taylor has also recorded two of EG’s songs). Since then…
“EG Kight is a powerhouse. A New Day, is filled with more of the magical blues, southern soul and country influenced music that we all love her for. The album was produced by legendary Capricorn Records producer Paul Hornsby, and EG and her band stand and deliver with passion and heart. …the album is a winner on all levels. EG has a versatile voice… whether it is gritty blues, country or beautiful melodies like “Can’t Catch the Wind.” It’s all EG. All good. Treat yourself. Check out the music of EG Kight.”
– Michael Buffalo Smith, Kudzoo magazine
“…recognized as a versatile vocalist and guitarist whose roots are gospel, blues, jazz, & pop. Several tracks on the new album spotlight the artists’ new zest for life and gratitude. Coming Down With the Blues is a feel it in your gut slow blues ensemble with crafty guitar work. By all rights, life seems to be healthy and prosperous for Kight these days.”
– Shannon Courto, Blues Blast Magazine
“American songstress EG Kight’s new album is out of the top drawer of music. By rights, it should be even more out of the drawer and sitting on top of the cabinet in a series of picture frames containing awards – she has been nominated for many.
Her warm, rich vocals infuse a series of knock-out songs. Some of the themes are as welcome as the quality of the musicianship – hope, determination, inspiration. That note is present from the opening track, Holdin’ On, and appears with even more emphasis on Don’t Give Up, a rumbustious harking back to the Gospel roots of Blues, as Kight exhorts the listener to ‘Let the good Lord do his thing’. This brisk, uplifting song has lightness, pizzazz, and effervescent organ and piano. Whereas Graveyard Dead Blues has humour, and is typically assertive, Kight promising to be a good loving woman, but one with broom and frying-pan waiting if her soon-to-be-spouse steps out of line.
Amongst the pleasing variety in the remaining tracks there are a couple that really Rock, the foremost being Misunderstood. If you see someone driving a soft-top car around the south of England with a hole punched in the roof, that driver would have been listening to this banging, anthemic song.
As this is written, Strictly Come Dancing is on TV again. As a judge on that show might say, this album is Fab-U-Lous.
– Darren Weale, Blues in the South, UK
“…another terrific entry into Kight’s existing catalog of soul/blues/gospel infused discs… Her rich, soulful voice which, when she moves into vibrato, is reminiscent of Phoebe Snow’s, torchy and powerful. She attacks every performance with the passion, determination and resolve of someone who appreciates the second chance in life she got and delivers a powerhouse album that is arguably her finest yet.”
– Hal Horowitz, Georgia Music Magazine
“Recovering from a tag team bout with meningitis and encephalitis, Kight rehabs with a bluesy, gospel filtered set of songs that celebrate life, perseverance, and down home cooking. To hear Kight, is to conjure Phoebe Snow singing at a southern gospel convention. …her voice effortlessly gliding from blues to jazz and back again, seasoned with a touch of red-eye gravy. Ken Wynn’s guitar drives “Let’s Get Down,” a paean to the back yard barbeque. It is here that the frying pan of death makes its return in a more life affirming manner, with some catfish cooking to go along with the country ham and sweet tater pie. The details prompt the thought that at some point Kight could have a second career on the Food Network. …the entire band is tight and focused on serving the song. Kight’s supple vocal will stay in your head for the ride home, and long after.”
– J.M. McSpadden III, The Listening Room
“A Country Preacher Reviews EG Kight’s New Hymnal A New Day –
Glory, Hallelujah! EG Kight has consecrated her new album as a “hymnal.” A hymnal is a book of songs of praise, thanksgiving, and joy collected to inspire, to heal, and to worship the Creator of the Universe. And A New Day accomplishes the task with power.
EG’s songs address life’s challenges—sickness, loss, alienation, uncertainty—and the singer/songwriter shares a message of hope (“Holding On”, “Don’t Give Up”) encouragement (“Bad Times,” “Misunderstood”), and liberation (“Time to Move On”).
I whispered to my companion, “EG Kight is the Iyanla Vanzant of the Blues.”
EG Kight is a popular, witty, sophisticated Blues singer. Her message transcends religion to embrace spirituality…
There’s something for everybody in this hymnal…
In closing, here’s the final word from this Country Preacher: “Let the Church Say Amen!”
-Rev. Audrey DuPuy
“Proof You Can Stay True To The Blues And Not Go Stale
EG Kight is called “The Georgia Songbird” because she comes from Dublin, Georgia, and she has a smooth, delightful voice. And yet Kight leans towards Chicago idioms that often have much harsher, huskier vocals than her almost gentle approach.
That is contrary to her Gospel upbringing, which usually features a belting overdrive in the vocals. Hence Kight gives us something a bit different that freshens up a style of Blues that can sometimes be formulaic.
Award winning EG Kight may stray from some people’s idea of what “real” Chicago Blues should be, but I welcome her kinder, gentler approach to the genre.”
– Marc Applegate, KUNC, NPR station in Greeley, CO
“EG Kight is one of those singer-songwriters who make you wonder where you’ve been all your music-listening life. Her approach to the material (a blend of Americana, Southern rock and jazz that becomes her own unique brand of contemporary blues) is so personal and so inviting that you kind of wish you could hear her sing every song you ever loved. The material is as strong as her brilliant, yet comfy, vocals. She reaches and maintains a degree of subtle polish that places her in the ranks of the blues’ greatest ladies.
– Greg Victor, Parcbench Culture Editor, NY
“Kight is a blues belter of the first magnitude and she pulls you in before you hear a note with that cool album art. It’s just a gal and her goats at they mosey along somewhere outside that’s very green. … she blasts out one cool blues tune after another. Kight could make your speakers sweat… this Kight is flying high – a lady running the show with style and class and plenty of sweat. If more blues sounded like this, there’d be way more blues fans.”
– Bill Locey, Ventura County Star
“EG Kight, the ‘Georgia Songbird,’ has a stellar reputation as a writer, performer and producer. Even her legion of longtime fans will marvel at the musical and emotional range that she captures in ‘A New Day.'”
– Jesse A. Finkelstein, Blues Radio International
“Don’t give up… is well-written. …this tune is a message of hope with an air of The Carter Family and Staple Singers singing as one.
Can’t Catch The Wind…takes listeners places where they don’t care to go. This is the type of song that will stir many hearts.
Time To Move On…glides into a flawless blues melody.
EG’s songwriting is descriptive in her use of metaphorical images. Describing sleeping alone, she compares her bed to a tombstone, adding a cold chill to the song as she sings of moving on..
If someone tried to give the album a theme, it probably would be faith, hope, and love. EG fulfills this theme with musical perfection.
While putting this album together she probably realized the greatest theme was love. Many know you have to have a love for something or someone in order to sing the blues. A deep love defines a great blues singer. Sometimes you have to feel the misery in order to sing the blues. Her illness reflects in the making of this album.
This is EG Kight and she passionately sings those blues…”
– Joe Miller, HighNote.Reviews
“Anyone wanting a change of pace could do well to take a trip with EG Kight and her new album, a sensitive mix of gospel ballads and straight ahead blues tunes. Sharing production duties with regular compatriot Paul Hornsby, and using her touring band as the studio band makes for a very tight and professional outing… it’s mostly her lush vocal that provides the compass for the album. Uplifting and aching at the same time, there is an attitude of gratitude right across the album and if there is such a thing as warm blues then this is it.”
– Alan Pearce, Blues Matters Magazine, UK
“In 2011 Georgia singer-songwriter EG Kight was diagnosed with meningitis and encephalitis, and it wasn’t until a year after her recovery from these dangerous illnesses that she found herself able to write songs again. The deeply felt A New Day is the fruit of her labors, and the collection explores the many emotional facets of life, living, and overcoming adversity. A thread of hard-won optimism winds throughout several songs on the album…
‘When you’re low, the blues will bring you up/In no time at all, you’ll be struttin’ your stuff,’ she crows in the jubilant Let’s Get Down.
A testimony to the healing power of music. EG Kight’s A New Day is sure to lift the listener’s spirits.”
– Melanie Young, Living Blues
“EG Kight instinctively entices people to follow her voice, a molasses-on-fire medium for the blues. With her superb road band, Kight eases into “Holdin’ On,” which speaks of believing in that easy to believe Southern way. Kight wrote every great song here. The music may be effervescent, but the true resolve she puts into the story of “Graveyard Dead Blues,” for instance, is unmistakable and convincing. The dream team of producer Paul Hornsby on piano, Tommy Talton on guitar, Bill Stewart on drums, and Randall Bramblett on B3 play gospel while Kight and the backing singers sing it up on “Don’t Give Up.” That same crew sans Randall shuts it down on a New Orleans high with “Time to Move On,” Talton shining. Highly recommended.”
– Tom Clarke, Hittin’ the Note
“…the story of A New Day is aptly summarized in the opening lyric of the deep blues ballad ‘Bad Times‘ (by the way, the artist in question wrote or co-wrote all 10 tunes on this disc), to wit: “We’ve had some bad times, oh-oh, they were sad times/we’ve been down and out and had our share of pain/we held on to faith, there’d come a day when we’d see sunshine through the rain” (a duet featuring Ms. Kight in a soulful, affecting dialogue with muscular tenor Greg Nagy on the topic of overcoming adversity together by leaning as one on faith).
The unabridged story is in the liner notes, in which Ms. Kight explains her absence since the release of her outstanding 2011 long player Lip Service as being the result of a life threatening illness…
She’s made art of a horrific experience, looks as healthy in the cover photo as she sounds on the disc and in all respects serves notice here of being back in the game in a big way.”
– David McGee, Deep Roots Magazine
“EG Kight is a revelation as both a blues singer and composer, having received 6 Blues Music Award nominations, with 2 of her songs appearing on Grammy nominated albums. Her latest CD shows exactly why she is held in such high esteem featuring ten Kight originals in a variety of blues styles… On ‘Time To Move On’ Kight sounds like a female evocation of the great Robert Johnson – ‘Low Mileage Woman’ is a strutting blues, replete with rollicking piano, that could easily be an undiscovered Willie Dixon song – ‘Let’s Get Down’ has a strong Ry Cooder feel á la ‘Get Rhythm’ – whilst on ‘Bad Times’ she is joined by Greg Nagy whose superb gospel-infused vocals allied to baying horns and pure gospel piano make this duet a “gospsoul” tour de force.”
– Mick Rainsford, Blues in Britain
“Hailing from Georgia, but with plenty of international touring under her belt, EG Kight is a known commodity within the contemporary blues circles. With plenty of Blues Awards nominations and Blues Blast Award nominations the combination of radio friendly music with an unstrained liveliness to her vocals, there is a lot to appreciate. Certainly enough to expect bigger and better for 2014/15 and beyond.
…Kight’s grace helps raise the band to her level. As much as I wanted to thumb my nose at opening A New Day with a slow tune heavy on cliche, I found myself singing along to the choruses by just the second listen.
Drummer Gary Porter and bassist [Johnny] Fountain lock in on guitarist Ken Wynn’s four bar guitar lead and provide Kight with a perfect foundation to show that she may be a blues singer, but Kight can rock out too with her blues contemporaries.
…Kight pumps out plenty of sass and gravitas to have the soccer mom crowd taking “Low Mileage Woman” on as their anthem.
With eight previous nominations for the Blues Awards and the Blues Blast Awards there will be no surprise to this reviewer when A New Day pushes Ms. EG Kight over the edge from nominee to award winner.”
– Georgetown Fats, Boston Blues Society
“It is great to see our good friend EG Kight, “The Georgia Songbird,” back in the spotlight. After overcoming a health scare a few yeas ago, she realized, as many of us do who get a “wake-up call, that every day is a treasure to be savored. And so it is with the ten originals that comprise her latest album, “A New Day,” as they reflect her new outlook on life and the new path she is embarking upon.
EG used predominantly her touring band for this set, enlisting the aid of veterans Greg Nagy, Randall Bramblett, Tommy Talton and co-producer [Paul] Hornsby to round out the cast. On this set, EG touches a lot of bases—from straight-blues to gospel to some good ole Southern boogie.
EG Kight has had six Blus Music Award nominations, and recently had a cut featured on the ABC Family Network. With “A New Day,” she’s withstood the storms of life and is still holdin’ on strong!”
– Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society
“After her last recording garnered plenty of praise from the critics, EG Kight’s career came to a screeching halt when she found herself in a critical health situation battling meningitis and encephalitis. In the liner notes for her new project, she expresses gratitude for her survival and for the healing power of music. Her strength and faith shine through on ten original songs that one minute celebrate life, then the focus shifts to a darker end of the street.
The opening number, “Holdin’ On,” has a touch of the church as Kight relates the range of emotions she encountered during her battle to survive. “Comin’ Down with the Blues” is a slow lament with the singer crying out in the void over an absent lover. Guitarist Ken Wynn heightens the sense of despair with a taut solo.
Guest Randall Bramblett on Hammond B-3 and producer Paul Hornsby on piano turn “Don’t Give Up” into a hand-clapping gospel rave-up praising the power of faith. Another high point occurs on “Bad Times,” co-written with the late Ann Rabson and featuring a richly textured duet between Kight & Greg Nagy punctuated by Cliff Meyer’s gritty tenor sax.
Kight decided to use her touring band for this album, and they reward her by nailing every arrangement. The rhythm section comprised of Gary Porter on drums and Johnny Fountain on bass consistently manage to lay down a driving pace with a light touch. Mike Harrell gives his electric piano a workout on “Low Mileage Woman” while Kight describes the delightful attributes of an experienced woman who yearns for “…a hot rod man”. “Graveyard Dead Blues” serves as Kight’s warning to her man advising him to keep the good lovin’ coming or suffer her wrath.
The singer is at her soulful best on “Can’t Catch the Wind”, her voice rising over the swell of Hornsby’s Hammond B-3. Tommy Talton’s biting guitar licks propel the powerful rocker, “Misunderstood”. He switches to acoustic on the closing track, “Time to Move On” and Kight acknowledges that she has finally decided the time for regret has past – time to live again.
That is the theme of this fine disc – we should grab hold of life and focus on our blessings no matter how great our burdens may be. The comforting message is delivered by Kight’s country-inflected tone and her meticulous phrasing.
Often referred to as the “Georgia Songbird,” EG Kight is all that and much more on this disc that is heartily recommended!”
– Mark Thompson, Crossroads Blues Society – Byron, IL
“EG Kight has been away from the music scene for a bit. The Georgia singer has been battling a couple of life-threatening illnesses for a couple of years, but thankfully, she is back to peak form with her latest release, A New Day (Blue South). She wrote or co-wrote all ten of the tracks, which mix the country-flavored blues ballads she’s noted for with gospel and soul.
The autobiographical opening track, “Holdin’ On,” recounts her recent health struggles, and the upbeat gospel track, “Don’t Give Up” provides inspiration through tough times. The rest of the disc is pure EG Kight, with tracks like “Comin’ Down with the Blues,” a sensational slow blues, the lovely ballad “Can’t Catch the Wind,” and the breathless rocker, “Let’s Get Down.”
Other highlights include “Graveyard Dead Blues,” co-written with Tom Horner and Lisa Biales, “Bad Times,” a sensational duet with Greg Nagy that Kight co-wrote with Horner and the late Ann Rabson, the sassy “Low Mileage Woman,” and the country blues closer, “Time To Move On.”
Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” EG Kight is living proof of that concept. A New Day shows her to be renewed and revitalized both physically and musically, and it’s definitely her best release to date.”
– Graham Clarke, Phoenix Blues Society
“It certainly is ‘A New Day’ for blue-eyed soul songstress EG Kight, showcasing ten original blues and roots songs performed in her unique southern style. If your interest lies in rootsy country and soulful blues then this could be a release worth investigating.”
– Phil Wight, Blues & Rhythm (UK)
“EG Kight has a voice that flows somewhere in that area between blues, country, soul and gospel.
When a man’s (or woman’s) blues experience stems from the fact that they are out of coffee, it is hard to draw anything of any significance from the situation. I am not implying that one has to lie at death’s door before they can sing the blues but I will say that the deeper the hole, the more joy when you finally get out of that situation.
The epitome of Southern hospitality, Kight is one of those people who can put you at ease with no pretense about it whatsoever. Always a good songwriter, her work has now taken on a whole new depth.
A New Day shows fans a bit more of what it is that makes her tick. Quite possibly her finest work to date, EG Kight has had the door to a whole new world opened up for her.
She has the backing of her touring band, superb each and every one. Add the aid of a handful of special guests including Greg Nagy, Tommy Talton, Randall Bramblett, and Paul Hornsby and the ensemble reaches a whole new level.
This is a great piece of work to say the least, well worth owning and frequent airplay.”
– Bill Wilson, Reflections in Blue
“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… Kight’s just as earthy, laconic, lamentive, and pensive as ever.
‘Can’t Catch the Wind’ is as Janis Joplin-esque as I’ve ever heard… ‘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. …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.”
– Mark Tucker, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
“Whether you like white blues mamas or not, you should listen to this record so you can get an idea of just what goes into secret sauce. …there’s pacing, thought and care just dripping off the edges of this set …she’s showing the chops, depth and maturity to make this her best set yet. And this could easily have been a back in the day Capricorn classic even if it doesn’t give off a retro vibe. It’s just what high octane stuff is all about. A winner throughout.”
– Chris Spector, Midwest Record
“… brilliant singer and songwriter. Styles range from straight blues to ballads to gospel, all highlighted by that beautiful voice. ‘Low Mileage Woman’… could easily become a classic women’s blues song. …comes back strong with this project and starts off her “New Day” with a very bright dawn. You’ll be glad to spend time with this music for many days to come.”
– Rhetta Akamatsu, BlogCritics.org
“Kight recently recovered from a life threatening illness but her beautiful voice is better than ever. Kight has accumulated six Blues Music Award nominations and several Blues Blast nominations but she can not be denied any longer. The album is meticulously produced by Kight and Hornsby. Kight flys high on this new album…”
– Richard Ludmerer, Making a Scene
“The soulful southern eloquence of EG Kight’s voice, mixed with country & blues, is amazing. This Georgia Songbird knows her stuff and it shows in her music.”
– Ron Holland, The Georgia Music Channel
“A sweet new offering… This is the blues Georgia-style, some good ol’ southern soul food. When you hear her sing, you’ll know she was born to sing the blues. Kight is one of the all-time great blues voices, she’s assembled some fantastic players to bring this record to life and, ultimately, life is what this album is all about- the highs, the lows, the everything. A New Day is one of those records that really speaks to you.”
– John The Rock Doctor Kereiff, Gonzo Online
“EG Kight’s is a unique voice in contemporary music. Her heartfelt, gospel and country-tinged blues blend American traditions into a toe-tapping good time. Her latest album, A New Day, demonstrates what her dedicated following has known since the late 90s – that she is a special talent.
Though Georgia native Kight grew up listening to old time country music like Hank Williams and Patsy Cline and singing gospel in church, it is said she discovered her true calling upon listening to “queen of the blues” Koko Taylor… Since the 1990s, the guitarist and vocalist has been writing and playing the blues, and she survived a serious illness to continue on making music.
A New Day is the eighth album to be released by Kight. Kight wrote or co-wrote all the songs, with co-writing credits for five tunes going to Tom Horner and one each to the late Ann Rabson (Uppity Blues Women) and Lisa Biales.
Album highlights include “Holdin’ On,” “Graveyard Dead Blues,” “Don’t Give Up,” “Bad Times” (a duet with Greg Nagy), and “Low Mileage Woman.”
For the album Kight was joined by Gary Porter on drums, Johnny Fountain on bass, Ken Wynn on guitar and Mike Harrell on keyboards along with guest appearances by album producer Paul Hornsby on keyboards, Tommy Talton on guitar and Nagy.”
– Bill Wilcox, Twangville
“The 10 songs reach into a deeper place and add a tinge of gospel to her fiery combination of jazz, pop and blues. If you like blues, you’ll love this one.”
– Jim Clark, Lee County Courier, Tupelo, MS
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