Big Harp George review…July 28, 2018….

BIG HARP GEORGE

UPTOWN COOL

BLUES MOUNTAIN RECORDS  BMR 03

DOWN TO THE RITE AID–INTERNET HONEY–ALTERNATIVE FACTS–I WANNA KNOW–NOBODY’S LISTENING–IN THE FIRST PLACE–STANDING IN THE WEATHER–BULLETPROOF–COLD SNAP BY THE BAY–JUST CALM YOURSELF–UPTOWN COOL–LORD MAKE ME CHASTE

Big Harp George’s instrument of choice is that big ol’ chromatic harp.  Most players eschew it as it is larger and more cumbersome than the more common diatonic, but in George’s hands, it is a powerful conduit for his tongue-in-cheek, humor-laden lyrics, twelve of which comprise his latest set for Blues Mountain Records, “Uptown Cool.”  He uses his lyrics to mirror back to us in today’s society, all done in the spirit of fun and good-time blues.  George has also mastered the ability to fit his huge tone from that harp alongside a horn section so that the two peacefully coexist.

The party starts with one of our favorites, where, instead of goin’ down to the blues clubs, now he’s headed “Down To The Rite Aid,” where there’s “body parts saggin’ all over the place!”  Props to Chris Burns on the keys, and Little Charlie Baty on guitar, too.  The fellows hit a solid Memphis groove for the tale of the all-too-common “swipe left, swipe right” of today’s society and tryin’ to find yourself an “Internet Honey!”

George settles into a torch-y mode, with brush-stroked drums and Chris’ jazzy piano, on the story of a love affair that was over long ago, “Nobody’s Listening anymore,” since she’s always been “a bubble off plumb!”  The set closes with George’s plea, “Lord, Make Me Chaste, (but not yet!),” when it comes to liquor, women, and other vices!  It starts out as a gospel-fired, Sunday-morning-down-South testimonial, and climaxes as a full-on, Rampart Street romper!

We had two other favorites, too.  George and duet partner Loralee Christensen teach a valuable lesson about “ready, fire, aim” with the playful “Just Calm Yourself, and take your foot off the gas!”  And, today, there’s just no escaping the idea that “truth just distracts,” and “you can reach your full potential” on those ever-common “Alternative Facts!”

Big Harp George brings that big ol’ chromatic back into mainstream blues with the twelve originals of “Uptown Cool.”  Perhaps more importantly, he brings a sense of humor into his music that is sorely needed in this world today.  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: