Powerhouse blues and R&B singer Whitney Shay started her journey 12 years ago when she started listening to blues and roots music. Ever since, she says, she’s been deeply inspired by Bonnie Raitt‘s “mastery of slide guitar and vocal prowess.”
Premiering exclusively today is the video for Shay’s rendition of “Nick of Time,” the title track from Bonnie Raitt’s 1989 studio album. Well within her vocal range, Shay does justice to the original with her always soulful singing style.
Of the song’s meaning to her, Shay shares with me, “Seeing her live (when we both shared the bill at the Doheny Blues Festival in 2015) cemented that even further; but it wasn’t until a year or so ago when I discovered this song and couldn’t stop listening to it.
“During the pandemic we all got the chance to examine in depth what was meaningful in our lives, and the importance of where we invest our time. Personally, I realized that I value finding more balance in my life for family, friends, my relationships, and things outside of my career. I guess that’s why this song affected me so much that I wanted to cover it.
“In a way I try to see this pandemic as a wake up call that we can’t continue with the never ending grind. I want to move forward with the knowledge that time is extremely precious and we can’t take it for granted. So thankfully this song found me in the ‘Nick of Time.'”
“Nick of Time” credits:
Written by Bonnie Raitt
Vocals: Whitney Shay
Guitar: Laura Chavez
Wurlitzer (and vocals): Jody Bagley
Bass (and vocals): Jodie Hill
Drums: Tony Econom
Backup Vocals: Cassie Bowerman & Tanya MacKenna
Engineered and Mixer by Mike Butler at Singing Serpent Studios in San Diego, CA April 2021
Video by Black Shutter Media
Shay’s incredible band includes multiple Blues Music Award Nominee guitarist Laura Chavez, Jody Bagley on keys and backup vocals, my longtime bass player Jodie Hill (also on backup vocals), and Tony Econom on the drums. “My talented friends Tanya Mackenna & Cassie Bowerman are the additional backup singers who made the harmonies come to life,” she adds.
She is fresh from a European tour, which she says went wonderfully. “It was a whirlwind 6 weeks with 28 gigs in 7 countries, and I’m so grateful to the musicians I got to share the stage with every night (Ryan Perry & Jeremiah Johnson, and the rhythm section of Thomas Germann & Denis Palatin). I can’t wait to be on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise with the guys in Ruf’s Blues caravan again next month. It felt pretty surreal to get back on the road after such a prolonged break, and I know that I will never be able to take doing what I love for a living for granted again.”