Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Review -- HARPER -- Day By Day

DAY BY DAY
Harper
Blind Pig / Stony Plain
6.5-out-of-10

Speaking of world music, Harper is dabbling in that realm with his latest release from Blind Pig, and American label noted for blues, and brought to Canada by Stony Plain Records.
Harper was born in Britain, but grew up in Australia, and the percussion sounds of the country Down Under permeate much of this CD, providing a nicely unique take on blues rock music.
The song One Day has this great under-beat which is so clearly Australian, thanks to the didgeridoo, that you immediately see where Harper is trying to take his music.
Now Harper doesn't over do the Australian world beat, nor does he use it as a crutch. This guy can play traditional blues too. Harper plays some sweet harmonica here too, seen first on Sure There's A Place. So don't be afraid this guy is simply flogging a gimmick. He's a blues man.
Still, I like the idea of a didgeridoo taking the role in a blues song we here are most familiar hearing the French harp, or a horn. It adds a freshness, and shows that blues are truly something you can find anywhere. In fact, the CD would have been strengthened by a bit more of the didgeridoo to be honest. He is on to something, and doesn't explore it enough here.
Away from the instrumentation, Harper has written a dozen solid songs, that cross between blues and rock. A cut like Watch Your Back could easily fit rock radio where a music director is willing to push the boundaries just a little.
Overall this is a fine CD, although Harper still needs to develop what might be best termed maturity in terms of the overall package, but the CD is one which is certainly worth a listen. Check him out at www.harper.biz
-- CALVIN DANIELS

-- Reviews first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Sept. 19, 2007 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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