176

Corey Harris: Greens From The Garden

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
Corey Harris: Greens From The Garden Now here's something you rarely find in the blues bin: a concept album.

New Orleans resident and country bluesman Corey Harris relates music to nourishment on Greens From the Garden, his third and best release. Like sumptuous courses at a great Southern feast, there's a variety of sustaining musical styles on Greens. Harris's tunes are interspersed with spoken snippets that I find annoying, but his music more than compensates.

Greens benefits from a live-in-the-studio feel. Stylistically this CD goes far beyond country blues to include funk ("Basehead"), mambo ("Eh La Bah"), Cajun waltz ("Pas Parlez"), New Orleans second-line brass ("Congo Square Rag") and even reggae (with a skanked-up version of the hymn "Just A Closer Work With Thee").

The guitar-wielding Harris goes electric on this one, yet he doesn't abandon the Piedmont and lap-style acoustic blues of his two previous releases. The lazy blues of "Honeysuckle" and the traditional acoustic blues of "Sweet Black Angel" and "Diddy Wah Diddy" are similar to his earlier material.

Harris is a fine guitarist, equally comfortable with Piedmont fingerpicking, Delta slide, and modern electric. Harris's emotional vocals are not unlike Taj Mahal's, and like Mahal's early albums, the music on Greens is ruggedly spunky. A couple of the original tracks here feature well-crafted lyrics that far transcend the ordinary. On "Basehead" he depicts cocaine addiction as a modern form of slavery. On the stinging "Lynch Blues," he sings pointedly about racial injustice.

The remaining tunes are less serious but no less effective. A real highlight is the summery "Honeysuckle Blues," which features some great old-timey piano work by New Orleans virtuoso Henry Butler, as well as some downhome fiddling.

Lose the spoken snippets, add a couple more songs, and Corey Harris would have cooked up a blues classic with Greens. As it stands, this CD is a fine offering from a creative bluesman whose musical roots spread out from the Deep South to many exotic locales.

Title: Greens From The Garden | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Alligator Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Good Merlin CD/LP/Track Review Good Merlin
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2017
Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Generations" CD/LP/Track Review Generations
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 16, 2017
Read "Here on Earth" CD/LP/Track Review Here on Earth
by Doug Collette
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "Rímur" CD/LP/Track Review Rímur
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 1, 2017
Read "Mu" CD/LP/Track Review Mu
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 30, 2016
Read "The Eighth Hour Of Amduat" CD/LP/Track Review The Eighth Hour Of Amduat
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "So Cute, So Bad" CD/LP/Track Review So Cute, So Bad
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 5, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.