Saturday, November 28, 2015

Slim Harpo Buzzin' the Blues

James Moore, who recorded under the name Slim Harpo, died very young at a time he was about to crossover to reaching a pop audience. The mostly commercially successful of the Swamp Blues artists recorded by Jay Miller at his Crowley, Louisiana Studios, Harpo had a number of hits including "I'm a King Bee", "Raining in My Heart" and "I Got Love If You Want It." His influence at the time was reflected by the fact artists like the Rolling Stones and Johnny Winter covered his songs. The German Bear Family label has issued a 5 CD box set "Buzzin' the Blues - The Complete Slim Harpo" which contains every studio recording of his, including alternate takes as well as some live recordings issued years after his death. In addition to the 5 full CDs of music with nearly 7 hours of music, there is a large, coffee table size hard cover book by Martin Hawkins with Harpo's biography, a discussion his music and recordings. The book also contains a full discography of the music sand is richly illustrated with many rare photos. I also add the alternate takes are presented separately from the issued recordings. Bear Family releases are expensive, but no one (not even Mosaic) does Box Sets better.

This was a purchase and this brief review was one of a number of short reviews I have written for the 2015 Jazz & Blues Report Holiday Gift Guide. It is obviously a gift idea for the blues lover in your life. Here is the classic I Got Love If You Want It."

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