Love Whip Blues

Erin Harpe & The Delta Swingers

Juicy Juju/VizzTone 2014

Review by David Bowling


Travel to the Mississippi Delta, take a cup of blues, add a dash of soul and funk, and you have the sound and approach of Erin Harpe & The Delta Swingers. They have now released their latest album Love Whip Blues.

Harpe is a vocalist/guitarist/songwriter who is the daughter of Maryland area bluesman Neil Harpe. The Delta Swingers include bassist Jim Countryman, harpist Richard Rosenblatt, and drummer Bob Nisi. Also on hand are multi-instrumentalist Dave Gross and slide guitarists Bob Margolin and Sonny Jim Clifford on three tracks.

The music is a combination of original compositions and interpretations of songs by Willie Brown (“Future Blues”), Lucille Bogan (“The M&O Blues”), and John Prine (“Angel From Montgomery”) among others.

Harpe has traveled an interesting musical journey. She released two acoustic blues albums and five more fronting an electro-dance band. Now with the Delta Swingers, she has fused both of these approaches and settled in to what can best be described as a danceable blues sound.

A blues foundation is intact and Rosenblatt’s harp play helps maintain a connection to the southern delta. It may not be an album for purists but the blues have always been open to interpretation and expansion and Erin Harpe & The Delta Swingers have carved out a nice niche for themselves.

Love Whip Blues is an album that will entertain and make you smile and sometimes that is enough.

Rating: ***