New Blues/Soul: Kat Riggins — ‘Progeny’

Kat Riggins — Progeny

Label: Gulf Coast Records

Kat Riggins’s new album, Progeny, is full of songs well worth pondering long after the needle is finished spiraling its way through the vinyl. What’s more — each song receives a performance that matches and sometimes even surpasses its quality.

Big-voiced blues/soul vocalist Kat Riggins comes across as seriously inspired and fully human on her new album Progeny. Released June 24th, 2022 on Gulf Coast Records, the set is intended as a tribute to Riggins’ own childhood and coming of age. It’s also a big shot of her own truth, delivered as she lived it.

Gulf Coast Records founder and blues artist Mike Zito and Bud Snyder have brought together an accomplished gathering of musicians, including Mike Zito (guitar), Matthew Johnson (drums), Doug Byrkit (bass guitar), Lewis Stephens (keyboards), as well as special guests Melody Angel (guitar), Albert Castiglia (guitar) and Busta Free (rap break).

My personal favorite track is “Got To Be God,” an almost stream of consciousness song that overflows with sincerity. What a pleasure to hear the emotion in the totality of notes in a song, not just in the most obvious money notes. It’s clear that Ms. Riggins invests herself in a song, fully and from start to finish, yet she still finds moments that surprise. Her relaxed yet committed performing style is the essence of a singer trusting the material.

“When it came to this record, the key words were ‘ACKNOWLEDGE’ and ‘HONOR,’” contemporary blues/soul singer Kat Riggins proclaims about her new CD, Progeny, releasing June 24th on Gulf Coast Records. “I have always tried to share music in a very transparent and vulnerable way and I’ve learned that I do this most successfully when I connect that little girl that I used to be to the woman that I’m becoming. I mean, when I remember things like how my Mama spoke her heart or how my Daddy’s voice made me feel when he sang Sam Cooke, it empowers me to be wide open and still feel safe. That sentiment is what I needed to acknowledge and honor with this project!”


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To bring Kat Riggins’ musical vision to life on the new album, Gulf Coast Records founder/guitarist Mike Zito assembled a sparkling list of talented musicians to back Kat’s powerful, sassy vocals, including Zito, himself, on guitars, Matthew Johnson on drums, Doug Byrkit on bass guitar, and Lewis Stephens on keyboards, augmented with special guests Melody Angel on guitar (“Woahman”), Albert Castiglia on guitar (“My City”) and Busta Free on rap break (“My City”).

Dr. Maya Angelou said, “You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.” With this album, Kat Riggins chose to honor that belief by paying tribute to her upbringing. In 12 original songs and a single a cappella gospel interlude, Kat kept with that theme and allowed her Spirit and spirit guides to have complete control when writing these songs. Progeny is compiled of songs about love, pain, passion and anger. It’s Kat’s personal testimony of strength, peace, joy, God and so much more!

These songs run the gamut between sweet soul-blues ballads to high-energy blues- rockers, with Kat’s M.O. the same throughout. Whether it’s a blues-funk party scene that moves your booty or a heart- breaking soul stirrer that moves your spirit, Kat wrote these songs to move the listener from a place of truth!

Kat says the fact that by definition, “Progeny” means, “a descendent or descendants of” made it the perfect one word synopsis of the album. Songs like, “In My Blood” and “Warriors” are prime examples of this homage. In “Warriors,” the statement is that no matter what we might face in this life, we won’t face it alone. There are songs about hindsight, about greed and about faith. There’s something for the sweet, sultry, ballad lover who craves a soft, slow groove. Then, there are the high energy movin’ and groovin’ numbers like, “My City” and “Espresso,” a hip-shakin’ song about how the singer’s Love keeps her heart skipping beats.

Mrs. Riggins explains, “Overall, Progeny is an acknowledgment of my human existence so far, and with it I hope to honor ancestors like my mother and elders like my father. Now that I’m in my 40s it seems that those two words come up a lot in my conversations with myself. Each time they do, I see a little more growth.”

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