KAT RIGGINS – Cry Out (Gulf Coast Records)

Cry OutKat Riggins released Cry Out in August but I’ve only just come across it. I don’t know who first said. “You don’t play the blues, you feel the blues” but it came to mind within a few seconds of putting this album on for the first time. An opening burst of drums followed by an opening kick of guitar and then Riggins’ vocal grabs you by the feel (it is a phrase) as she builds “Well, well, well/ I get off on folks who underestimate….”. With a delivery like that I bet she does.

Cry Out has been released on Mike Zito’s Gulf Coast Records label and was produced by Zito. That’s not a bad bloodline for your debut album on the label. The credits describe the original songs as written by Kat Riggins and composed by Mike Zito (or Mike Zito and a couple of others). I’m not entirely sure where that means the boundaries are drawn, but you can hear how well it works on the title track in the clip below.

There are thirteen tracks on the album, mostly up tempo, definitely in your face (try ‘Burn It All Down’ for a track you’re not going to argue with). The range of ‘blues styles’ is also impressive – from classic blues to the funkier sound of, say, ‘Meet Your Maker’, to the gospel-influenced ‘Heavy’, to the slow smoky finale on ‘The Storm’, the embodiment of a track that you don’t listen to, you just feel. In the absence of live music, YouTube shows some great live performances.

Riggins describes her concern, in advance of making Cry Out, about losing the freedom of being an independent artist whose music isn’t “muted, censored or altered”; she contrasts it with the actual experience that left her free to “put 100% of my focus into the art”. The result is a blues album of some power and passion.

Mike Wistow

Artist’s website: https://katriggins.com

‘Cry Out’ – lyric video:

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