Personnel: Denise LaSalle (vocals, background vocals); Michael Toles, Kenny Ray Kight (guitar); Mike Haynes , Gary Armstrong, Harrison Calloway, Jim Horn, Charles Rose (horns); Marvell Thomas (keyboards, synthesizer, background vocals); Kurt Clayton, Carson Whitsett (keyboards); James Robertson (drums); Donna Hauth, Thomisene Anderson, Catherine Henderson (background vocals).
Recording information: Malaco Recording Studio; Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.
Arranger: Marvell Thomas.
When high-tech urban contemporary sounds became R&B's norm in the 1980s, the small, Jackson, Mississippi-based Malaco Records continued to specialize in traditional, southern-style soul music. One of Malaco's best sellers has been Denise LaSalle, a big-voiced soul shouter with a gospel-influenced delivery along the lines of Millie Jackson, Betty Wright and Laura Lee. One of LaSalle's strongest Malaco releases, Hittin' Where It Hurts was recorded in 1988, but often sounds like it could have been recorded in 1967. LaSalle sounds as inspired as ever on such gritty, horn-laden fare as "If You Can't Do Me Right," "Eee Tee" and the bluesy "Caught in Your Own Mess," all of which recall the splendor of Stax Records. Many soul veterans have gone unrecorded in the 1980s and '90s, but thankfully, LaSalle isn't one of them. ~ Alex Henderson