Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers' Love Whip Blues

The Delta Swing is a fine original as Harpe calls listeners out to go swinging from Cambridge to Memphis. It is played with a relaxed groove and features strong harmonica. The rendition of Willie Brown’s Future Blues exhibits the tight ensemble playing supporting Harpe’s vocal although some might find the tempo a bit fast here. Bob Margolin’s slide guitar enhances the fine reworking of Lucille Bogan's The M&O Blues. Good Luck Baby is an original with a bit of reggae flavor.

There is jaunty adaptation of an old William Moore recording, One Way Man, followed by a similarly buoyant rendition of Pick Poor Robin Clean. That was originally waxed by Virginia songster Luke Jordan. Gross adds a mandolin solo and Countryman taking a bass break here. After the call to the dance floor of Virtual Booty Blues, the Delta Swingers perform Charles River Delta Blues, a lovely rendition of William Brown’s Mississippi Blues. This William Brown (solely recorded by Alan Lomax) is a different individual than the Willie Brown of Future Blues who is best known for an association with Son House and Robert Johnson.
Erin Harpe & Jim Countryman performing at the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation
A solid rendition of John Prine’s Angel of Montgomery closes out this most enjoyable recording. Listening to Love Whip Blues, one appreciates why this group has been developing a large following around Boston. In fact, they won the Boston Blues Society’s Blues Battle and will be competing in Memphis at the 2015 International Blues Challenge. One certainly expects more will be heard from them.

I received my review copy from VizzTone. Here are they performing a lovely rendition of Charles River Delta Blues from that same performance. After that is a duet performance of that song by Erin and Jim Countryman at an Archie Edwards Blue Heritage Foundation concert.

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