Out of the Shadows
Out of the Shadows is a title that aptly describes what is going on here: The debut solo album of a singer who has made a career, going back to the late ’70s, of being a backup vocalist. It may be a long time coming, but Etta Britt has certainly made the most of her chance. The Nashville-based Britt shows the kind of versatility that has made her a singer’s singer, while still lending the album a cohesive feel. She goes toe-to-toe with Delbert McClinton as they tear through the roadhouse rave-up “Leap of Faith,” but she is equally at home uptown on the smoother and more sensual R&B of “High.” Country-soul comes to the fore on a standout version of “The Chokin’ Kind,” but the set’s rootsy thrust also gives way in a couple of places to elegant piano-and-strings ballads. Amid writing contributions by Gary Nicholson, Paul Thorn, Michael McDonald, and Harlan Howard, Britt contributes some originals – most notably the poignant and deeply personal “Quiet House” and “She’s Eighteen” – that reveal she is more than just a powerhouse interpreter.
- Nick Cristiano