Personnel: Denise LaSalle; The Memphis Horns, Muscle Shoals Horns.
Nearly eclipsing her fine On the Loose release from a few years before, Denise LaSalle cut this follow-up in 1974, once again utilizing Bowlegs Miller's top-notch charts and the backing of the Memphis Horns and Muscle Shoals. The third and last of her Westbound albums, Here I Am Again also features several fine songs from LaSalle's pen, many of which show her very original take on the Southern soul sounds of Memphis' Stax and Hi records; Miller compliments this bluesy base with sage doses of electric piano and strings on the ballads and plenty of in-the-pocket organ, horn, and guitar work for the funkier cuts. LaSalle, of course, displays both power and suppleness throughout, whether bouncing atop a cool-breeze groove ("Stay With Me Awhile"), digging into a bit of shuffle-bump salaciousness ("I Wanna Do What's on Your Mind"), or hitting the vocal heights on a rootsy ballad ("Don't Nobody Live Her") -- even the Barry White soundalike, "Here I Am Again," finds its own legs under her guidance. Another fine album from LaSalle's stellar yet brief stay at Westbound. ~ Stephen Cook