BROKE & HUNGRY RECORDS IS SEARCHING FOR ODELL HARRIS
Debut CD by hill country bluesman follows label’s acclaimed Back to Bentonia
(ST. LOUIS) On Nov. 14, Broke & Hungry Records will unleash Odell Harris onto an unsuspecting blues world. Fans of ragged, heavily amplified country blues are in for a treat when the CD Searching for Odell Harris hits shelves next month. The CD is the first for Harris and the second for the label, which made waves earlier this year with the release of Back to Bentonia by Jimmy “Duck” Holmes.
Harris is a 66-year-old singer and electric blues guitarist from the hills of North Mississippi. His music shares much in common with that of his late friends, R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough. But he also was influenced as a young man by the blues of his uncle-by-marriage Albert King and his cousin William Bell, who went on to become a soul legend at Stax Records in the 1960s and 1970s. Harris’ sound manages to marry the primal hill-funk of the Burnside/Kimbrough nexus and the greasy strut of a century of coarse Memphis blues.
The 12 tracks that make up Searching for Odell Harris range from gripping solo performances of blues standards like “.44 Blues,” “Laughing To Keep From Crying” and “Sitting on Top of the World,” to raucous band performances featuring support from Mississippi native Bill Abel on guitar and Steve Lightnin’ Malcolm on drums and bass. Abel has backed everyone from David “Honeyboy” Edwards and Henry Townsend to Sam Carr and Big George Brock. Malcolm has worked extensively with Jimbo Mathus, the Burnside Exploration and such elder statesmen of the blues as T Model Ford, Cedell Davis, Robert Belfour and Jimmy “Duck” Holmes.
Searching for Odell Harris was recorded during a single all-night recording session on the gulf coast of Mississippi. The name of the disc alludes to Harris’ legendary elusiveness. He rarely performs in spaces more public than a friend’s living room or front porch.
Searching for Odell Harris will be available at retailers throughout the U.S. and will be distributed by Burnside Distribution Corporation. The disc also will be available through the Broke & Hungry Records Web site at www.brokeandhungryrecords.com.
For more information on this exciting release or on Broke & Hungry Records, contact Jeff Konkel by e-mail at email@example.com.
Paul "Wine" Jones (July 1, 1946 – October 9, 2005) was an American contemporary blues guitarist and singer. One commentator noted that Jones, R. L. Burnside, Big Jack Johnson, Roosevelt "Booba" Barnes and James "Super Chikan" Johnson were "present-day exponents of an edgier, electrified version of the raw, uncut Delta blues sound."His style is deeply rooted in the rural blues of the delta, but so distinctly original and idiosyncratic that his sound will not easily be mistaken for that of any other artist. Rock-solid bass-string drones, expansively sonic guitar textures, a seasoning of wah-wah riffs, and a voice that can sound vinegary, molasses-like, or simply, urgently passionate, as the song demands - these are some of the qualities that make Paul Jones a unique and formidable talent. Jones was born in Flora, Mississippi, and learned to play guitar by the age of four.In his teens he played at house parties, and later worked with James "Son" Thomas and harmonica player Willie Foster.However, Jones played music mainly as a pastime, while working on farms up to 1971, when he became a welder in Belzoni, Mississippi.In 1995 and 1996, Jones performed outside of Mississippi, when he was a member of Fat Possum's "Mississippi Juke Joint Caravan".His 1995 debut album, Mule, was produced by the music critic Robert Palmer.On the album he was accompanied by drummer Sam Carr, and guitarist Big Jack Johnson.Fat Possum (an independent record label in Oxford, Mississippi), as well as managing the latter careers of Junior Kimbrough and R. L. Burnside, gave opportunity to a number of amateurs, mostly from rural Mississippi, who had seldom or never recorded before. Some, such as T-Model Ford and Asie Payton, moved on to higher billing, but others such as Jones, were left on the sidelines.
Jones died of cancer, at the age of 59, in Jackson, Mississippi, in October 2005.
Simply the best North Mississippi Hill Country Blues being performed today, OGM plays that brand-new old-school juke joint groove. If you are feeling down and mistreated they will lift you up, help you get that happy .Old Gray Mule is a two-man Mississippi Hill Country and Raw Electric blues wrecking machine. With five critically acclaimed albums in their catalogue, Old Gray Mule embodies the old school blues ethic: “Keep it simple, it’s for dancing yall.” Guitarist/vocalist CR Humphrey and drummer/vocalist JJ Wilburn have played/recorded with the best of the best of Mississippi including Cedric, Duwayne, and Garry Burnside, David, Kinney, and Robert Kimbrough, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, T Model Ford, Robert Belfour, Lightnin Malcolm, Kenny Brown, Bill Abel…. the list goes on.OGM's live shows are straight up Mississippi juke joint style dance parties, with a lot of back and forth with the crowd, girls on stage dancing, and folks sweating out the bad stuff. "Old Gray Mule's Have Mercy is an absolutely brilliant statement on the state of post-Junior Kimbrough, post-R.L. Burnside, Paul "Wine" Jones, and Post-T-Model Ford-style alt-blues, or whatever it's called. It sets a high bar for everyone involved in this kind of music, not just in its musicianship, which is outstanding, but for its sonic construction as well. You'll want to listen to this on headphones just as loud as you will on the big speakers. Rick Saunders - Deep Blues Blog - October 29, 2014 "