House of Blues, May 18, 1998
For more than 15 years, Ecrettia "E.C." Scott has been a fixture on the West Coast blues scene, building a reputation as one of the finest soul singers currently touring the dives, digs and palaces of the modern-day blues circuit.
While Scott's earliest avowed influences all came from the gospel camp (Shirley Caesar, Inez Andrews), she was intrigued by recordings from jazz, blues and soul giants Dinah Washington, Bobby "Blue" Bland and Clarence Carter. Her rich yet tightly focused vocals purr, croon and rage at the drop of a hat. Her first single, 1991's "Just Dance," was a hit in the San Francisco Bay area and set the stage for a full-length recording. She pitched the project to Blind Pig Records on the advice of her engineer, and the label signed her to a multi-album deal.
Scott now writes most of her own material, following in the steps of such legendary soul singer/songwriters as Ann Peebles ("I Can't Stand the Rain") and Denise LaSalle ("Good Man Gone Bad"). "I'd always wanted to write songs with someone, but you know these writers," Scott says with a laugh, "they don't want to work with nobody but the stars or themselves."
Scott finally met her match in Larry Batiste, who became her frequent writing partner and co-producer. This partnership has been fruitful; her two recorded albums have received rave reviews. Scott also has taken to doing a killer version of the Eurythmics' "Missionary Man" in concert, wiping out audiences from coast to coast.
Scott has been pushing herself hard lately, seeking to take her status as a regional phenomenon to the national spotlight. She maintains a schedule that has her performing more than 300 days a year and has turned her career into a family affair -- her oldest son is her road manager. But the workaholic Scott hardly has time to deal with domestic chores anymore. "My furnace just broke down this winter after 40 years and I haven't had time to replace it yet," she says, adding that she doesn't miss it that much. "I was away for most of this winter."