Erin Harpe And The Delta Swingers review…November 11, 2017…..

ERIN HARPE AND THE DELTA SWINGERS

BIG ROAD

VIZZTONE RECORDS/JUICY JUJU VT-JJ-002

KOKOMO–LONELY LEAVIN TOWN–BIG ROAD–FRANKIE–SHAKE YOUR HIPS–CASEY JONES–VOODOO BLUES–STOP AND LISTEN–GUILTY–GIMME THAT (SOMETHIN SPECIAL)

For their second full-length album for Vizztone, Erin Harpe And The Delta Swingers built a three-week whirlwind tour around their IBC performances in Memphis, where they eventually made it to the semifinals.  They were fired up and on an obvious roll, so they hit the studio for “Big Road.”  It is ten red-hot cuts, four originals and six covers, from Delta legends such as both “Mississippi’s,” John Hurt and Fred McDowell, and contemporaries like Slim Harpo and Randy Newman.

Big Road sums up where this band has been since the release of their 2014 debut, “Love Whip Blues.”  They’ve toured basically non-stop since then, tightening up their sound and  winning new fans in every city.  Their unique sound is built around Erin’s outta-sight guitar work.  She can do it all, folks–bristle the funk, finger-pick it Piedmont style, or get her Muddy on with slide and electric, and we get a taste of it all over these eclectic selections.  Joining in on the fun are Jim Countryman on bass, Matt “Charles” Prozialeck on the harp, and Kendall Divoll on percussion.

The fun starts with Erin and the band hittin’ a Hill-Country vibe on the playful, “write me a few of your lines,” of “Kokomo.”  An original is up next,  and “Leavin’ Town Blues” has a good ‘ol vintage vibe, with fine call-and-response harp from Matt.  They pull out all the stops on the endless boogie of Slim Harpo’s “Shake Your Hips.” and get in a rockabilly groove as Erin’s original, “Voodoo Blues,” features accordion from Michael Casavant.

Our favorite went waaaay on back down to the Delta.  Erin’s vocal, Piedmont-style picking, and Matt’s harp, set up a lively groove for the country-blues tale of “Frankie,” which, as you listen, realize it is John Hurt’s tale of the ill-fated lovers, Frankie and Albert, and she sho’ nuff shot him dead ’cause he done her wrong!

Erin Harpe And The Delta Swingers have finally made the album they always wanted to.  It’s got a great, “live in the studio” vibe, and “Big Road” brings this band full-circle back to their roots!  Until next time..Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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