Dudley Harris review…December 4, 2019…

DUDLEY HARRIS

THE MONEY’S ALL GONE

BBH PRODUCTIONS

TIRED BABY–JACK RABBIT–LOVE ME–NOBODY KNOWS–HARD TIMES–CINNAMON ROLL–KING SNAKE–FEEL SO BAD (TELL JODY RILEY)–GO GET MY GUN–SWEET HONEY BEE

I’ve been in West Tennessee bluesman Elam McKnight’s camp since his 203 release of “Braid My Hair.”  He and I are both fellow graduates of Austin Peay State University (albeit sixteen years apart!), and it is thru the efforts of Elam that we have been introduced to the talents of Dudley Harris. He is one of the last of the West Tennessee juke joint bluesmen, having been on that scene in his home of West Tennessee, as well as throughout the Southeast for some 45 years, with no album to show for it.  Again, thanks to the efforts of Elam, The West Tennessee Blues Society, and with funding from the Tennessee Arts Commission, “The Money’s All Gone”is now a reality.  The ten cuts offer pure, honest blues that are at times humorous, and take hard looks at life and its experiences. Laid down in Nashville at the Switchyard Studios, Elam served as executive producer, as well as playing slide on part of the cuts.  Producers are the legendary Michael Saint-Leon, who doubles on bass and guitar, and Bob Bogdal, also on harp.

Dudley’s on guitar and vocals, and kicks things off with what turns into the title cut.  It swigs right outta the gate, but Dudley’s got himself a “no good doney,” and “all the money’s gone” and now she is, too, on “Tired Baby!”   That theme is revisited a bit later.   No blues album is complete without a visit from “Jody,” and on this cut, Dudley is accompanied only by guitar on the minor-key, slow-blues of another lover who “walked away,”right into Jody’s arms, in “Feel So Bad (Tell Jody Riley) he can have her!”

Dudley’s got some good women on here, tho, including that cute little “Cinnamon Roll, sweet right down to her hole!”  The set closes with the driving beat of “my sweet Honey Bee,” who “gives me all her money!”

Our favorite was easy.  If you can’t get down to this one, there’s no hope for you.  Yeah, she’s a “medieval woman,” who’s “done me wrong ” for the last time.  He’s ready for “your funeral and my trial” : in “Go Get My Gun,” and the dance groove is irresistible.

Dudley Harris is one of those blues singers that “they just don’t make no more.”  Hearty thanks to all those involved in the creation of this project, to make “The Money’s All Gone” a reality.  Until next time…Don and Sheryl Crow.

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