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Zac Harmon - From the Root

Northern Blues Music

14 tracks

Zac Harmonís discography is quite impressive. As an LA studio musician for many years, he recorded with many fine bands and musicians. He was finally "discovered" in 2004 when he was sponsored by the Southern California Blues Society and won the International Blues Challenge as "Best Unsigned Band." Two years later he won the Blues Music Award for "Best New Artist." He originally hails from Jackson, Mississippi, and his bio claims he is disciple of Jacksonís Farish Street blues sound. His musical roots are strong and his talent is exceptional!

"From the Root" is his fourth CD (his first with Northern Blues after a French release and two others available on CD Baby) and showcases Harmonís songwriting and performing abilities. It is a beautiful blend of blues, soul, and a little reggae. It captured my interest immediately; I was tapping my foot and grooviní to the beat on the CDís first track.

About half of the songs are straight up blues. "Hattie Mae," "Keep the Blues Alive" and "Scratch" are great examples of how this artist excels in the Delta tradition. His blues are awesome and the backing sounds from the other band members are equally good. Jimmy Zís harp work is exceptional throughout.

The other half of the album focused predominantly on Zacís funky and soulful side. The opening track "Donít Give Me Another Reason" smartly mixes soul with some blues. Sueann Carwellís vocals with Harmon on "The Price of Loviní You" are sultry and seductive. "Back Bitiní Back Stabbers" and then Smile on Your Face" and "Want Ads" are at ends of the soul spectrum, from a funked up dance tune to two that are in the style of older Al Green stuff.

Itís a great CD and Harmon shows his talents and versatility. Heís a great musician and performer, and his new CD is worth checking out!

Reviewer Steve Jones is secretary of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL

Review courtesy of Crossroads Blues Society.

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