2020 – Vizztone Label Group
By Phillip Smith; Dec. 19, 2020
Versed in the Piedmont style of blues, second-generation finger picker Erin Harpe has wooed me over with her latest record Meet Me in the Middle. This is her fourth release on the Vizztone label and sixth overall. Recorded in their Boston-area home studio while quarantined this past June, the album features Harpe on vocals, acoustic guitar, kazoo, and foot percussion, with her husband Jim Countryman on ukulele bass and backing vocals. The production on this is fantastic, and the result is ten tracks of pure, unadulterated blues.
I admire the sound of Harpe’s guitar playing. The finger-picking and slide work on her original composition “All Night Long” is outstanding. Her voice, with its slight twang, is perfectly suited for singing the blues. Another charming original that lights me up with every listen is “Meet Me in the Middle”.
Her recording of “Pick Poor Robin Clean” is plumb terrific. Written and originally recorded in 1927 by Luke Jordon, the song was later popularized by Geeshie Wiley in 1931. Performed with guitar and kazoo, Harpe breathes new life into this vintage classic. Erin and Jim also take on the iconic “Rollin’ and Tumblin’” which I absolutely adore. It’s such a treat to hear her take this one on. She is such a fireball on the mic as she rips it up on guitar.
Meet Me in the Middle is a must for blues fans.
For more information about the artist, visit this website : erinharpe.com
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