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Downhome Sophisticate

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 30, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Product description

NEW Combo BLUWAVS CD and FLAC FILE

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This singer-guitarist, discovered on the streets of New Orleans, has grown immensely since he emerged as the great black hope of acoustic blues with 1994's exceptional Between Midnight and Day. The electric Downhome Sophisticate is an often-superb sequel to his eclectic 1999 catalog of African American styles, Greens from the Garden--sprawling, but sparked by topical songwriting and Harris's raw-toned, Delta-fueled guitar and full-bodied singing. Harris infuses traditional blues with new blood, often by combining his sources. He tattoos an African vocal melody and guitar rhythm to a Mississippi fife-and-drum beat in the riveting antiwar number, "Fire," which is further stoked by psychedelic slide guitar. His 5x5 Band pump the traditional numbers "Don't Let the Devil Ride" and "Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning" by giving Harris's sleazy bottleneck playing and raw howl a rock & roll bottom. "Santoro" and the title number are the best blues-hip-hop blends since Arrested Development's searing "Tennessee." There's also a smart samba excursion. But some experiments, like the funky "Frankie Doris" and the Fred McDowell acid trip "Money on My Mind," don't gel, and several instrumentals unspool aimlessly. Nonetheless, Harris is trying to transform one of the most idiom-bound genres into something personal and utterly modern. And that marks him as one of the music's most courageous contemporary artists. --Ted Drozdowski

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Product details

  • Audio CD (April 30, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rounder
  • ASIN: B000063CWE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #334,937 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Customer reviews

Top customer reviews

on August 15, 2002
Format: Audio CD|Verified Purchase
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on March 15, 2012
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on March 23, 2005
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on September 23, 2016
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on November 22, 2014
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on July 18, 2015
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on November 17, 2014
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on April 5, 2006
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