David Egan with a large spoon. Egan is a musical soul food chef. His music fits the kitchen as well as the nightclubs where the burly performer has spent much of his life.
Egan has spent years simmering in Lafayette, though his stock was mixed in Shreveport and he smells like New Orleans. I don't think you'll find a shortage of okra and bay leaves in the new album, "You Don't Know Your Mind."
Opening the album with piano and organ, a Little Milton-style hook and mid-tempo groove, Egan has invited you into his home. He has had considerable success having his tunes recorded by people like Irma Thomas, Etta James and Solomon Burke. With blues licks by co-writer Buddy Flett (it's a shame that the musicians singing, playing bass and guitar are not listed track by track, but the booklet does have all the lyrics), the song is a three-course supper.
"You're Lyin Again" is an uptempo number that rocks the table. Speaking of pounding the piano, it must be noted that Egan songs ride the train from New Orleans to Chicago. Lunch is usually served in Memphis.
"If It Is What It Is" changes the mood to the breezy 30's shuffle. It features a dulcet-voiced girl-guy duet and bread pudding trombone solos by Chris Belleau.
"Bourbon in my Cup" has a tricky head and a smoky tempo. The guitar riff that anchors "Love, Honor and Obey" is addictive.
Two of the cuts herein were perennial crowd-pleasers as performed by Miki Honeycutt and A Train, so Egan has had to try to outcook the family favorites."Best of Love Turned Blue" opens with a sensual electric piano lick. It becomes a souffle. Cooking over a solid rhyme scheme is sort of like putting your gumbo in the freezer overnight. The subtle female vocal behind his voice is an example of what Egan and producer Joe McMahan do at their best.
"Sing It One More Time" is given a super second line vibe. The beat was laid down by the Yat wit a Po-boy - Mike Sipos.
"You Don't Know Your Mind" is righteous but not elaborate. "Money's Farm" is one tune where I wished Egan hadn't settled for his simple-and-classic-is-best formula. Overall, though, this is a gumbo that will be playing in my kitchen during the holidays.
It'll offer everyone some seasoned greetings.
Cup of coffee? Sample Egan's excellent prior album, "Twenty Years of Trouble," at myspace.com/davidegan.