Zac Harmon review…August 31, 2015…

ZAC HARMON

RIGHT MAN RIGHT NOW

BLIND PIG RECORDS  BPCD 5167

RAISING HELL–BALL AND CHAIN–HUMP IN YOUR BACK–STAND YOUR GROUND–RIGHT MAN RIGHT NOW–FEET BACK ON THE GROUND–LONG LIVE THE BLUES–BACK OF THE YARDS–I’M BAD LIKE JESSE JAMES–AIN’T NO BIG DEAL ON YOU–GOOD THING FOUND

We  first met Zac Harmon in Memphis at the 2006 Blues Music Awards where he won the Best New Artist Debut for “The Blues According To Zacariah.”  He continues to combine old-school soul-blues with contemporary sounds and lyrics, and has just released his latest for Blind Pig, “Right Man Right Now.”

Zac knows a little bit about good blues, too.  He grew up in Jackson, MS, and, by the age of eighteen, his guitar chops were such that he was sharing the stage with most all the touring acts who came to Jackson, including Z. Z. Hill, Dorothy Moore, and many others.  On this set, he’s got some mighty fine special guests, too, including Mike Finnigan, Bobby Rush, Anson Funderburgh, and Lucky Peterson.

Anson and Lucky are up first, joining Zac on the leadoff cut, a real foot-stomper where Zac gets the dancers ready by telling ole Satan to “get thee behind me, because tonight we’ll be Raising Hell.”  Lucky’s keyboard work is right on time, as are Anson’s Texas-blues guitar lines.  The title cut is full of swagger from Zac as he tells a potential one-night stand that he’s “not Mr. Perfect, but I’m the Right Man Right Now!”  And, he can sho’ nuff boogie like the Hook on an ominous, brooding take of “I’m Bad Like Jesse James.”  Zac closes the set with some sage advice for all of us.  Sometimes, gettin’ rid of a bad lover turns into a “Good Thing Found!”

Zac turns in some excellent topical, socially-conscious cuts regarding today’s society, too.  An ultra-funky bass line drives the tale of life in the inner city, down in the “Back Of The Yards.”  And, perhaps the album’s most powerful piece deals with the tragic deaths of innocent youth in today’s world, all for the right to “Stand Your Ground.”

Our favorite was a much lighter fare.  Two good ol’ Mississippi bluesmen, Zac and Bobby Rush, team up for a rockin’ funk-fest, with Bobby blowin’ harp as these two cats spin the sly-and-sexy tale, “Put A Hump In Your Back!”

Zac Harmon tells it like it is—“Long Live The Blues, the blues is here to stay,” and a strong set such as “Right Man Right Now” is brilliant testifyin’ to that fact!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

 

 

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