Join us for an evening of Delta blues with Erin Harpe and the Delta Swingers!
Erin Harpe has been called “one of the most dynamic, talented and exciting roots rocking blues women on the scene” by Living Blues Magazine. Winner of the 2018 Boston Blues Challenge, and nominated for 2018 Blues Artist of the Year by the Boston Music Awards, Erin is having an exciting year. Brought up on delta and piedmont blues, which she learned from her dad, Erin recently entered and won the Boston Blues Challenge playing solo. She’ll be headed off to Memphis in January to represent Boston at the International Blues Challenge! On top of that, her band Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers were nominated for Blues Artist of the Year this year alongside local greats and friends James Montgomery, Peter Parcek and Danielle Miraglia among others!
Growing up in Maryland, Erin learned finger-style blues guitar from her dad, visual artist/guitarist/Stella guitar expert Neil Harpe, as well as from watching local piedmont blues luminaries such as John Cephas & Phil Wiggins, John Jackson, Eleanor Ellis, Warner Williams, and others – at the famed Archie’s Barbershop in Washington, DC. Later moving to Boston, Erin put out two acoustic blues albums, Blues Roots (2002) and Delta Blues Duets (2008) – an album of duets with her dad – in between touring and releasing five albums with her rock band Lovewhip (with hubby/bass player Jim Countryman). Erin’s soulful vocal style and accomplished finger-picking guitar playing has earned her many fans, including guitar greats Ronnie Earl and Billy Gibbons, and she is quickly becoming recognized on the international blues scene.
In 2010 Erin and Jim started their new band, Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers, and they were off to a great start right away, winning the Boston Blues Challenge that same year and being christened “Charles River Delta Blues” by the local media. Their debut album, Love Whip Blues (2014, produced by Dave Gross), received 4 stars in DownBeat Magazine and airplay around the world, including SiriusXM’s Bluesville! Erin also released an instructional guitar DVD in 2016, Women of the Country Blues Guitar (through Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop). The band’s sophomore album “Big Road” was released in late 2017 to rave reviews, making the TOP TEN in Roots Music Report’s “Contemporary Blues Albums” chart, the iTop “Top 100 Blues Albums” AND Relix Jamband Radio Charts!
The new album THE CHRISTMAS SWING features ten songs – including a couple of Erin’s originals and her own arrangements of traditionals and songs by Chuck Berry, Bessie Smith, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Leadbelly, and more. The title track is a re-working of Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers’ 2014 hit The Delta Swing, co-penned with special guest Richard Rosenblatt (who also lends harmonica). Building on her last album, Erin’s guitar playing shines as she plays a number of different styles, ranging from acoustic fingerstyle on Bessie Smith’s “At the Christmas Ball” (a duet with pianist John Juxo), to raw electric guitar on Lightnin’ Hopkins’ “Merry Christmas”, to slide-guitar (with perfectly matched harp) on Jingle Bell Blues, to the early rock n’ roll licks of Chuck Berry’s “Run Run Rudolph.” Her well-known kazoo also makes an appearance on the Smith tune and the (not really holiday-themed, but festive) Bo Carter number “Drink and Get Drunk”, as well as on closer Auld Lang Syne. The record features Erin Harpe on vocals and guitar (electric, slide and acoustic), as well kazoo; Jim Countryman on bass; Matt “Charles” Prozialeck on harmonicas; and Chris Anzalone (Roomful of Blues) on drums.
After the holidays, Erin has a big year planned in 2019, beginning with representing Boston at the 2019 International Blues Challenge this January in Memphis. She also has several new recordings in the pipeline (including Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers’ third studio album), a second UK tour coming up in March, and some big summer blues festivals already being booked!
Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers
Friday, August 30 | 8pm