All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

296

James Harman: Side Dishes

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Compiled from twelve of James Harman's most recent CDs, which were originally released between 1981 and 2003, Side Dishes offers a good look at where he's at today. Singing and playing a mean harp, the bluesman packs a wallop into every performance. Based in Los Angeles, he continues to please local audiences just about all year round. Fortunately, Harman isn't one to sit tight for any length of time. He tours frequently and spreads his unique blues message around the world in liberal doses. He believes in pure blues: the kind that comes from the heart, shows a sincere respect for roots tradition, and still manages to rock your boat all night long.

Harman, 61, grew up in Alabama where he lived with the blues on radio, on local street corners, and in his home through piano lessons. He showed a natural talent on his father's harmonicas, giving them a workout every chance he got. As soon as he was old enough, he started working the blues in clubs. The work took him through Panama City (Florida), Chicago, New York, Miami, New Orleans and eventually to Southern California where he found a home for his music. He's collaborated with some of the best in the blues business over the years, and some of his most exciting sidemen are heard here on this compilation.

Harman sings his own compositions. They appear in chronological order on this CD, grabbing onto a Deep South rhythm for their rhythmic wiggle and containing the contemporary blues textures of guitar, bass and drums along with the leader's vocals and harp. At a recent 2007 live appearance in Southern California, Harman used congas, two guitars, upright bass, and drums to deliver original songs with mighty power. As he closed the nineteenth annual Battle of the Blues Harps festival in November, he brought everyone up on their feet for a smokin' finale that will be remembered for years to come.

With the thirteen songs on Side Dishes, Harmon has amassed a thirteen-way tie for his "best of selection. Whether it's "Too Much Family, with guitarist Hollywood Fats, "Jump My Baby, with guitarist Kid Ramos, "Lonesome Moon Trance, with guitarist Nathan James or "Decisions, with guitarist Junior Watson, Harman explores blues from the inside out with an unquenchable spirit.


Track Listing: (I Got) So Many Womens; Jump My Baby; Won

Personnel: James Harman: harmonica, vocals, percussion; David

Title: Side Dishes | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Gulfcoast Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Alive In The East? CD/LP/Track Review
Alive In The East?
by Chris May
Published: June 22, 2018
Read Love Stone CD/LP/Track Review
Love Stone
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 22, 2018
Read Empty Castles CD/LP/Track Review
Empty Castles
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 22, 2018
Read Myths and Morals CD/LP/Track Review
Myths and Morals
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 22, 2018
Read The Sum Of My Pardon CD/LP/Track Review
The Sum Of My Pardon
by Jim Olin
Published: June 22, 2018
Read Postcard Collection CD/LP/Track Review
Postcard Collection
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 21, 2018
Read "Reunion" CD/LP/Track Review Reunion
by Don Phipps
Published: November 27, 2017
Read "Never Bet The Devil Your Head" CD/LP/Track Review Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Chris Mosey
Published: April 10, 2018
Read "Awase" CD/LP/Track Review Awase
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 26, 2018
Read "Life Stories" CD/LP/Track Review Life Stories
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 13, 2018
Read "Whatever Possessed Me" CD/LP/Track Review Whatever Possessed Me
by Don Phipps
Published: April 22, 2018
Read "Green Man" CD/LP/Track Review Green Man
by Jim Olin
Published: October 6, 2017