Fourth Coast Entertainment -

By John Berbrich
FCE Staff 

Show Your Love (2016) Harper and Midwest Kind-from Blu Harp Records

CD Review by John Berbrich

 

Last updated 7/3/2016 at 4:04am | View PDF

Harper and Midwest Kind

People who remember the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, probably recall that they got an awful earful of the didgeridoo. The sound of hundreds of these things droning together like an army of gigantic mosquitoes was annoying and a bit frightening.

Well, I'm happy to report that in his latest recording, Show Your Love, Peter D. Harper gives the listener an earworm of the didgeridoo. It's a deep, droning quiver, and it fits with his global blues much better than one would expect. Its dry, jungle vibe sticks in my head.

Harper is pretty much the whole show here. He writes and arranges all the songs, sings them clearly (you can understand all the words), plays a wicked harmonica, taps out syncopated beats on the djembe, fills in the cracks with occasional keyboards, and lulls you with that soft-edged, shivering didgeridoo.

His band, Midwest Kind, is top-notch, featuring Will Rideoutt on guitar (fierce and funky), James Norris on bass (steady and snappy), and Cam Lewis on drums (restrained yet dynamic). Five guest musicians help out on "I Can't Stand This," a slow blues lament in which callous owners shut down businesses, stranding loyal workers. Each song builds heady momentum, starting with the raucous, full-throated "Hell Yeah" and continuing with grabby hooks right through to the mature "I Look at Life."

Harper is positive. He wants a world of straight talk, brotherhood, and general good will. He's so consistent and persuasive-conveying feelings of gentle strength-that you might want to vote for him.

Harper calls his music "World Blues," which I think is a fair description. He's got the didgeridoo from northern Australia, the djembe from West Africa, and the electrified blues guitar from the Mississippi Delta. And he sings with that One-World attitude, bringing everyone from everywhere together into a big group hug-at least that's the idea. I don't expect that to happen anytime soon, but it doesn't hurt to keep on toward that good goal. And Harper and his musical men are leading the search to find a better way.

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