Erin Harpe is another player I discovered on the MySpace website, having noticed her surname and wondering if she was in any way connected to Neil Harpe, the accepted authority on old Stella guitars and a fine blues picker in his own right. It turned out she is his daughter and on the strength of this record, he can be justly proud of his parenting skills.
Erin is a great singer and fingerpicking acoustic guitarist, and here she presents a fine selection of rural and classic blues numbers. Things get off to a great start with a rousing version of Memphis Minnie’s “Chauffeur Blues” and there is also a reading of “My Girlish Days” later on. Although the work of women singers features heavily, Erin also tackles pieces by the likes of Tommy Johnson with some great string slapping and Blind Blake.
My current favourite from the album, however, takes us back to the ladies and it is her superb arrangement of Bessie Smith’s “Alligator Blues” which positively rocks along. Throughout the album she sings and plays with great confidence, perhaps hardly surprising for a lady who in a parallel universe fronts the indie band, Lovewhip.
Recommended to lovers of good, clean acoustic picking.
This woman has got it together with her clean guitar & a voice that stopped me in my tracks. I can't remember the last time all the work on a single CD kept my attention. Glad I stumbled onto her on iTunes.
Erin Harpe displays STUNNING, absolutely Hot, bluegrass pickin' and singing in this CD / ALBUM!! She plays her guitar as if she was born with it in her arms! Her Rich and Soulful voice will blow your mind, as she sings out these blues tunes! This is one CD everyone should want to have in thier collection!!! AWESOME!!!!!!
I can't wait to hear this fresh young artists next CD, WOW!! This one definitely hits the top of the charts for me!!!!
Maybe it's in the genes, but Erin Harpe, daughter of longtime area bluesman, Neil Harpe, has produced a wonderful album of acoustic blues, Blues Roots. Erin displays considerable command of a wide range of blues including songs associated with Memphis Minnie (Chauffer Blues and In My Girlish Days), Tommy Johnson (Bye Bye Blues and Big Road Blues), Bessie Smith (Alligator Blues), Willie Brown (Future Blues) and others. She plays a strong, percussive-tinged guitar that suits these songs perfectly but is also able to nimbly fingerpick on a Blind Blake number, You Gonna Quit Me. She delivers her vocals with a strong, straightforward and natural delivery that is quite appealing and is reminiscent of longtime DC area blueswoman, Eleanor Ellis, who is credited with the closing Stop and Listen Blues. This is a fine debut album of traditional country blues.
All songs performed by Erin Harpe: vocals and guitar.
Arranged by Erin Harpe.
Recorded at Cloud Cave Studios in Jamaica Plain MA in four hours on Tuesday, December 18, 2001.
Produced by Jim Countryman.
Engineered by David Nickerson of Baystate Sound.
Mastered by Dave Locke at JP Masters, Jamaica Plain, MA on Friday, December 21, 2001.
Cover design by Erin Harpe.
Cover photo by Jim Countryman.
Copyright 2002 Squirrelygirl Music/Juicy Juju Records.
Charismatic singer/guitarist Erin Harpe and her band the Delta Swingers have become favorites around New England, with a
growing fan base around the world. Their music is rooted in vintage 1930's Mississippi delta blues, then shaken and stirred with other genres like soul, funk, country and reggae, evoking a wild southern juke joint where the whiskey and gin are flowing and everybody’s dancing....more