Kiss My Sass
Vizztone Label Group
Annika Chambers competed in the 2012 International Blues Challenge and although she did not win her talent was recognized and she was signed to Montrose Records. The gospel influenced Chambers’ released her debut album “Making My Mark” with the Houston All-Stars in 2014. That album co-produced by Larry Fulcher and Richard Cagle, resulted in Chambers receiving a 2015 Blues Music Award nomination in the category “Best New Artist Debut”.
Chambers’ follow-up recording 2016’s “Wild & Free”, under the guidance of executive producer Miki Mulvehill, was co-produced by Fulcher, Cagle, and Tony Braunagel. As a result, Chambers’ became an even hotter commodity and for two years running, in 2017 and again in 2018, she was a BMA nominee as Traditional Blues Female Artist of The Year (a.k.a. The Koko Taylor Award). Her tenacious touring schedule enabled her to win her first Blues Music Award in May of 2019 as The Soul Blues Female Artist of The Year.
“Kiss My Sass” is only Chambers’ third studio album. Seven of the ten tracks were produced by Fulcher and Cagle; an additional two with them and Braunagel, and one by Kevin Houston.
The lead off track, “Let That Sass Out”, is a song written by RB Stone that appears to have never been previously recorded. “All week long I work for the man, busting my back and busting my can”. Chambers has been performing this tune for the past year. Featured are guitarists Corey Stoot and Houston’s The Mighty Orq; Anthony Terry, sax; and the rhythm section of Fulcher, bass, and Greg Brown Jr. drums. The background vocalist is Nicoya Polar. This is the perfect vehicle for the fiery Chambers.
“That’s What You Made Me” is from Gary Nicholson and Jesse Alexander; Fulcher’s bass is prominent in the mix; Randy Wall is featured on keys, as James Wilhite sits in on guitar. “You Can’t Win” written by Charlie Smalls is from the soundtrack to The Wiz.
“What’s Your Thing” written by Sir Mack Rice features Ruthie Foster on acoustic guitar and background vocals; it was first recorded by The Staple Singers in 1971. The song is co-produced by Braunagel and features him on drums.
“Brand New Day” co-written by Chambers and Fulcher; is a stripped down production featuring Fulcher on bass; the fabulous Orq on guitar; and keyboardist Wall.
“World of Hurt”, from Glen Clark and the Grammy winning songwriter Jeff Silbar first appeared on “Blind, Crippled, & Crazy” the 1993 album from Clark and Delbert McClinton. “Two Bit Texas Town” from Angela Strehli appeared on Strehli’s 1993 Rounder Records album “Blonde & Blue”.
“Stay” was written by Eric Dane and Carolyn Wonderland. “In The Basement” again features co-producer Braunagel on drums. The closer “I Feel The Same” from Chris Smither features guitarist Paul DesLauriers.
Chambers stretches out on this album of new songs and covers from a variety of different writers. There is no end to what vocalist Chambers can do. This is another award winning album.