While Chicago may be America’s blues mecca, Detroiters are making a significant international impact in blues today, especially Seward Shah, better known as "Harmonica Shah”. Now on the illustrious Electro-Fi label from Toronto, Detroiter Harmonica Shah has not changed his gritty, earthy, raw and rocking urban blues style one iota. His songs reflect the deep heartbreak of living in present day Detroit while his classic harmonica licks reflects the birth of urban blues by Sonny Boy Williamson, Robert Jr. Lockwood and Otis Spann. If you were ever tempted to think that real blues is a thing of the past, Havin’ Nothin Don’t Bother Me by Harmonica Shah will banish that thought.
Harrison Kennedy’s new Electro-Fi CD, Soulscape is another masterpiece of basic blues with Detroit connections. Originally from Hamilton, Ontario, Harrison Kennedy gained national fame as a member of the Detroit R&B group, The Chairmen Of The Board. They recorded for the Holland-Dozier-Holland Invictus label with hits such as Give Me Just A Little More Time and Skin I’m In. Edward Holland gave Kennedy 75 dollars to buy a guitar which he used to write many hits for the group.
Harrison Kennedy is still a prolific songwriter but has added a variety of acoustic instruments to his blues arsenal. On Soulscape you will hear his proficiency on banjo, mandolin, harmonica, spoons, fife, percussion and bread pan! But, what will really touch you is his pliant voice and the poetry of his heartfelt lyrics. His songs examine the eternal human condition and our modern miseries. As with Havin’ Nothin Don’t Bother Me, by Harmonica Shah, Soulscape by Harrison Kennedy will satisfy your soul’s craving for serious blues and roots music.
Take a listen here: