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Corey Harris

By: Dan O’Conor

Corey Harris is a musician who loves to explore. He has released seven distinctly different albums in the past decade and his latest, Daily Bread, is his most varied and fulfilling to date. Harris brings a widescreen vision to the album, offering up songs ranging from simple duets between acoustic guitars and violins to aggressive political statements carried out by a full band. Guests include trumpet player Olu Dara (father of rapper Nas) on a couple of tunes and ace New Orleans blind piano player Henry Butler, who contributes to five songs.

Harris started his recording career in 1995 with the release of Between Midnight & Day, an album that focused entirely on acoustic Delta blues. After garnering much acclaim for his debut, Harris then branched out with some New Orleans brass horns on 1997’s Fish Ain’t Biting. In 1998, Harris guested on Mermaid Avenue, the Woody Guthrie/Billy Bragg/Wilco collaboration, and earned a writing credit on “Hoodoo Voodoo.” Harris’ next record, 1999’s Greens from the Garden, explored Caribbean rhythms and the R&B roots of rock’n’roll, and even included some hip-hop and reggae tracks. Harris then teamed up with Henry Butler for a rollicking stroll through dusty jazz and blues on Vu-Du Menz, and continued to build his eclectic catalog with 2002’s rural influenced Downhome Sophisticate. In 2003, Harris released Mississippi to Mali which explored the sonic connection between African music and the blues of the south. Harris was introduced to a wider audience as part of Martin Scorsese’s PBS series, The Blues, which followed Harris as he went to Africa to perform with traditional musicians.

Corey Harris has searched the globe to find interesting roots to the music that he loves. From his Denver upbringing to his college years in Maine, Harris has always pushed for more knowledge. He has traveled and toured extensively to get his hands around the roots and history of the gorgeous musical styles that he presents to his audience. Do yourself a favor and catch this wellspring of musical knowledge. Daily Bread is out now on Rounder.

Corey Harris tour dates:

July 9, Springfield, IL (Roof Top Roots Festival)July 15, Charlottesville, VA (Friday After Five)July 29, Asheville, NC (Bele Chere 2005 Festival)July 30-31, Floyd, NC (Floyd Fest)Aug. 20, Torrington, CT (Warner Theater)Aug. 25, Woonsocket, RI (Chans)Aug. 26, Wilkes-Barre, PA (River Street Jazz Cafe)Aug. 27, Asbury Park, NJ (Asbury Park Boardwalk)Aug. 28, New York, NY (Hudson River Park Blues & BBQ)

Links: Corey Harris official site