Some retro acts are more concerned with image and outfits than music. This record is a bit theatrical but with enough substance to give it staying power.
A charming, versatile singer, Erin Harpe’s guitar playing is an on-time reminder of how effective and essential the guitar is as a rhythm instrument, even in blues. It is the driving engine here under Harpe’s take on Willie Brown’s “Future Blues.”
On “Good Luck Baby,” one of several cuts written or co-written with Harpe by Richard Rosenblatt, an R&B groove is set and soulfully maintained by Harpe and auxiliary player Dave Gross.
Veteran Bob Margolis brings his slide to Lucille Bogan’s “The M&O Blues” where Harpe also shows she is confident working the slow grind. “Love Whip Blues” appealingly reworks Memphis Minnie’s “Me And My Chauffer Blues.” Harpe, Gross, and Rosenblatt on harp combine for a rousing closer with a lively interpretation of John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery.”
This article originally appeared in VG‘s March’15 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.