Etta Britt review….August 7, 2014….

ETTA BRITT

ETTA DOES DELBERT

BRITTUNES MUSIC

SOMEBODY TO LOVE YOU–OLD WEAKNESS (COMIN’ ON STRONG)–BOY YOU BETTER MOVE ON–STARTING A RUMOR–LIE NO BETTER–EVERY TIME I ROLL THE DICE–YOU WERE NEVER MINE–BEST OF ME–I’M WITH YOU–NEW YORK CITY–THE JEALOUS KIND–WHEN I WAS WITH YOU

We have been fans of Etta Britt long before her debut CD back in 2012, “Out Of The Shadows.”  She’s been a backing vocalist for Delbert McClinton for several years, and she and her husband, Bob, an outstanding guitarist in his own right, were part of the musicians that played on the 2014 Sandy Beaches cruise.  Etta is as familiar with Delbert’s catalog as anyone, and, as they performed many of these songs on board the cruise ship, the seeds were sown to cut this album.  As such, “Etta Does Delbert” brings together some of McClinton’s most familiar works as well as a few obscure cuts, and one original penned by Etta and Kevin McKendree, the set-closing “When I Was With You.”

Speaking of McKendree, the backing band is as good as it gets.  Kevin is on keys, Bob Britt is on guitars, Steve Mackey is on bass, Lynn Williams is on drums, Dana Robbins is on sax, while Scat Springs, George Pendergrass, Bob Britt, and those incredible McCrary Sisters are on backing vocals.

We thought that this album is better than “Out Of The Shadows.”  Etta is so comfortable and at ease with this material that she is loose and relaxed, and so is everyone else, and it sho’ nuff comes thru on the record.

Delbert’s music is always about having a good time, and there’s plenty of rockin’ tunes to let the good times roll.  Kevin’s piano and Bob’s guitar jumpstart Etta’s kick-ass delivery of “Old Weakness,” and she struts right up to ker cheatin’ lover and tells him “if you can’t Lie No Better than that, you might as well tell the truth!”  Bob breaks out the slide guitar on the funky “Every Time I Roll The Dice,” while ole Delbert himself adds backing vocals on the raucous “Best Of Me,” and he and Etta do a delicious duet in the Fifties-ish style of Brook Benton and Dinah Washington on “Baby You Better Move On!”

As much fun as these songs are, Etta’s strong points are the ballads, where the soul and power of her voice is on full  display.  Enjoy an excellent read on Bobby Charles’ “The Jealous Kind,” and, our personal favorite, “You Were Never Mine.”  You can feel the anguish in Etta’s voice as she recounts the bittersweet tale of the love that might have been.

Etta puts it best when she sings “it’s hard to fight the feeling when it feels this good,” and that’s exactly how we feel after listening to this dynamic collection.  Etta Britt’s got it all—the chops, the soul, and the swagger to pull off a collection of Delbert’s best.  Do as we did and enjoy  “Etta Does Delbert!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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