"Chromaticism presents my vision of contemporary West Coast blues, with a sense of place, humor, and a dose of jazz. I feature the “big harp:” the chromatic harmonica rarely exploited in blues. My originals reflect my own experiences and outlook. I choose covers that I can sing with conviction, by artists I admire, and that convey elegance and style…"
Grapefruit Moon: The Songs of Tom Waits is Southside's tribute to one of his favorite songwriters, but also a pet sound: big band music. The idea to marry the brassy, ballsy sound of a big band to Tom Waits' cinematic, character-driven songs has been sitting in the back of Southside's mind for sometime.
Big Walter Horton was one of the key architects of modern blues harmonica. Blues legend Willie Dixon referred to him as "the best harmonica player I ever heard." Along with Little Walter Jacobs and Sonny Boy Williamson II, he is considered to be one of the most influential harpists ever. He was capable of both intense power and fragile delicacy, often in the same song. He was endlessly melodically adventurous, and always unpredictable. His only Alligator Records album, - "Big Walter Horton With Carey Bell", came out in 1972. It paired him with his young protégé, who had played under Walter's tutelage since Bell's arrival in Chicago. Walter's long-time partner Eddie Taylor joined them on guitar. It was Alligator's second-ever release, and received widespread critical acclaim, especially for the fiery harp duets that pitted the two harmonica masters against one another…
The debut release for the second-generation bayou blues guitarist/harpist, whose gruff-before-their-time vocals retain their swamp sensibility while assuming a bright contemporary feel that tabs him as a leading contender for future blues stardom.
A veteran bluesman that can hold his head high next to our neighbours to the south, Martin Goyette made his bones with an undeniable, incredible voice. Powerful, whisky-throated and raw, it drives home the sound, twinned with his super-watt harmonica playing.
Korean-born Dutch harpist Lavinia Meijer states as her goal "to make the harp better known as a solo instrument, with all its possibilities which are often still unknown to the wider audience." With this release she accomplishes her goal, not so much technically as musically. The harp does not do so much here that the attentive listener to the big early film scores won't have heard before. But Meijer's album falls nicely into the group of releases that are reconstructing the virtuoso solo repertoire of a century ago, rediscovering gems that were swept aside by self-serving modernist imperatives.