IN THE BOYS CLUB
Bluzpik Media Group
A Thrill a Minute Blues and Soul Roller Coaster Ride.
I knew absolutely nothing about Kat Riggins before opening the envelope containing her latest and second full lengthCD; but……and this is a huge compliment; the sleeve alone would have made me pick it up in a record shop and ask the chap behind the counter if I could hear a track or two.
Then after hearing the first couple of bars from the hypnotic opening track Try, Try Again I would happily have parted with 10 English pounds.
It’s a Soul song, it’s Blues too, it might even have a smidgen of Gospel in there too but this song contains so, so much more too.
Troubles Away; follows and slows things down with a real back porch Country Blues; with ‘vinyl hiss and scratches’ for added authenticity……and my, oh my what a powerful and expressive voice this young lady has. The type that sends shivers down your spine and used to have blokes queuing at the stage door with bouquets of flowers and marriage proposals.
Like all of the best Blues and Soul singers Ms Riggins manages to surprise at every turn; and rocking our world in a way you could never expect with Kitty Won’t Scratch, a feisty duet with guitarist Albert Castiglia they make the speakers shake and Fistful o’ Water she makes Janis Joplin sound like a teenage choir girl!
But it’s her slow and sensual songs that have won my heart ……..Cheat Or Lose could and should be a ‘by the numbers’ song; but this one with Darrell Raines sultry keyboards sounds like something I would expect to hear on Blue Note; and on Don’t Throw Me Away Kat turns the tables by being the one who done her man wrong; and begs……really begs for forgiveness.
To me; this album is primarily S.O.U.L with a side order of the Blues; with the emphasis being very much on the stories in the self-penned songs and Kat Riggins’ distinctive and emotional voice; with everything coming together in the finest way on the funky Tightrope and even more especially so the title track A Girl in a Boys Club; which comes very closely to being a feminist anthem; but is mostly a hell of a good fist bumping song for the end of the evening.
There’s even a ‘secret track’ tucked away in here too; with Kat letting her voice do the talking on a rather beautiful short and sweet acapella ‘interlude’ called Living Testimony, that could have been recorded in a Baptist Church and if it wasn’t should have been.
Then of course I am now obliged to select a Favourite Song; which has been genuinely difficult; but I’m going for Johnnie Walker; a thrilling and exciting Blues Rocker, but this one comes from the darkest pits of Kat’s heart; and the band glide in and out with some awesome licks and a ‘most Blues wailin’ mouth harp’!
I can only imagine how powerful and thrilling it must sound when played live.
Not for the first time this year; and I hope not the last, it’s unearthing albums like this one, her second and being able to hail artistes like Kat Riggins from Miami, Florida to the world at large that make all of the hours I put in worthwhile.
Released June 23rd 2018