Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Two Sides to Every Story
Genres: Blues, Pop
One of the great songwriters and iconoclasts in modern blues, harpist and singer James Harman steers the blues in directions unknown and unexpected every time he takes the stage or hits the studio. This 1993 release for Bl... more »
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One of the great songwriters and iconoclasts in modern blues, harpist and singer James Harman steers the blues in directions unknown and unexpected every time he takes the stage or hits the studio. This 1993 release for Black Top is reckoned as one of his finest.
....velvet Elvis paintings and Miami loafers...
James Daniell | 10/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was the first James Harman CD I ever listened to, and from the wailing blues-harp intro to "My Little Girl" I was hooked - and that was before I heard the soulful, understated vocal delivery and some of the hippest modern blues songwriting you're ever likely to hear.
Harman's records aren't about producing versions of his favourite blues songs from his collection of scratchy old blues LP's - his personal trip seems to be all about creating a original, valid means of blues expression - when so much of the other recent stuff about just seems like affectation and plagarism. And most importantly, he backs the message with a monstrous groove: few groups are as tight as the James Harman Band, and so few bands nowdays like them seem to understand that the secret to this music is not the notes you play, but the ones you leave out.
In short, this is a wonderful blues and rhythm & blues album, perhaps his best if only "Do Not Disturb" wasn't so fine. There's wry comedy in "The Clown", a horn-led swinging take on short-term relationships with "If the Shoe Fits", one-of-a-kind jivin' in "Tall Skinny Mama" and acute observation with the title track. Everything a blues album should be about.
Harman's influences can be heard in the Fabulous Thunderbirds (most of the current line-up are ex-JHB alumni), Gary Primich, the Red Devils/Thirteen (the late Lester Butler was quoted as saying that James was the only blues act he'd bother to catch), the Hollywood Fats Band and countless others who try to capture this effortlessly-swinging West Coast blues sound.