When I got
this release I first thought, "Oh cool! Another disc from Ricky Skaggs'
great bluegrass band." But no, this is a different Kentucky Thunder that has
nothing to do with Skaggs' organization. Instead of bluegrass they serve up
hot-buttered white southern soul, ala Delaney and Bonnie.
Since the band has four lead vocalists, all with
angelic pipes, no one song on the album is relegated to a single lead vocalist.
Every song is shared, which gives a listener a fabulous opportunity to compare
and contrast four great vocalists, Etta Britt, Vickie Carrico, Jonell Mosser and
Sheila Lawrence. While none of these extraordinary vocalists is a big star,
they've all found plenty of work over the years working as backup and harmony
vocalists for the biggest stars in Nashville. They've been singing together as
Kentucky Thunder for 14 years whenever they could fit a gig or two into their
schedules, but this is the first recording they've done as a group. Backed by
a crack band that included Bob Britt on guitar, Randy Leggo on keyboards, and
Steve Mackey on bass, this ‘Bout Damn Time captures their live gig at
Nashville's 3rd and Lindsey concert club.
Except for three covers, the other eleven songs
on ‘Bout Damn Time are originals. Etta Britt's "I Believe" has a
solid gospel groove that just keeps chuggin' along. Vickie Carrico's "Love
is a Gift" is a bluesy torch tune with lots of room for harmonizing. Jonell
Mosser's "I Don't Care Who Knows" is more of a R&B anthem with a
pulsing bass line. Sheila Lawrence's "Who's Laughin' at Who" is a
classic rock/gospel/blues he-did-me-wrong revenge romp.
Getting the balances and mix right in a live recording is not easy, but recording engineers Kathy Smith and Mike Yeager did a great job of capturing everything happening onstage. The result is a textbook example of how a live R&R recording should sound.