Blues fans will tell you, there aren't enough good women blues singers around today. But guitarist, singer, and songwriter E.G. Kight, raised as she was in the gospel tradition, is a breath of fresh air in the contemporary blues scene. Kight was born in Dublin, GA, and was raised in a musical family. She began singing around the house as a toddler and she began taking guitar lessons from her grandmother when she was five. Her parents had a wealth of great country music in the house, including albums by Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Eddy Arnold, and others, so she was raised with gospel music in church and mostly country music at home. She began performing country music professionally in junior high school and one night after a show, a fan asked her if she'd ever heard of Koko Taylor. After hearing some of Taylor's singing that night, she knew where her heart would lead her. She knew of B.B. King, Bobby "Blue" Bland, and of course Elvis Presley, but it was Taylor's blues vocal styling that hit Kight like a ton of bricks. She began in earnest to learn all she could about Taylor and other women blues singers, and began working some blues into her country act. She found her lily white audiences hadn't been exposed much to deep blues. She left a secure living playing country music and started over again, reinventing herself as a blues singer.
Through the years, Kight has collaborated or shared the stage with a variety of country and blues musicians including George Jones, Jerry Lee Lewis, Conway Twitty, Luther Allison, Taj Mahal, and of course, her idol, Koko Taylor. Taylor even recorded one of Kight's songs, "Fuel to Burn," for her Royal Blue album for the Alligator label. Kight's albums include "Have I Got Blues for You," a 1996 release for her own label, Blue South Records and four other releases: Come into the Blues in 1997, Trouble in 2000, Southern Comfort in 2003, and Takin' It Easy in 2004. Kight recorded her second album, Come into the Blues at the old Capricorn Records studios in Macon, GA. She wanted to pay tribute to Otis Redding a native of Macon, so she recorded "I've Been Loving You Too Long." When the Georgia Music Hall of Fame recognized Redding's contributions to music in 2002, Kight was invited to perform at a ceremony unveiling a bronze statue of Redding. Her last album for her own Blue South label, Takin' It Easy, includes eight original Kight composition and four cover tunes, including her take on Duke Ellington's "I Ain't Got Nothin' But the Blues," and her acoustic take on the Allman Brothers' "Southbound." Guests include Ann Rabson, pianist for Saffire the Uppity Blues Women, guitarist Chris Hicks of the Marshall Tucker Band, and former Roomful of Blues saxophonist Greg Piccolo.
Since that night in 1995 when her life changed after she first heard a Koko Taylor album, Kight has racked up an impressive array of awards and encomiums from her peers, including six nominations in the Memphis-based Blues Foundation's Blues Music Awards for contemporary female artist and song of the year. More recently, Long Island-based M.C. Records signed Kight to record for them, and It's Hot in Here was released in the summer of 2008. Eleven of the 12 tracks on her new album were written or co-written by Kight, and the album is a delightful blend of straight-ahead blues and Americana influenced tunes. ~ Richard Skelly