Blues Harp Women

Various Artists

Ruf Records

Review by David Bowing


If you are a fan of the blues and especially the blues harp, then this release may be an album for you.

The harp has been an important component of the blues since its beginnings. While the harp has mostly been associated with male performers, there is an increasing number of very proficient female blues artists.

Blues Harp Women is a 31 track two disc compilation of songs featuring female harp players. The music expands from the territory established by blues legend Big Mama Thornton who is represented here by “Down Home Shakedown.”

Many of the artists such as Rhonda Rucker, Kat Baloun, Jan Gillman, and Paula Rangall may not be household names but they have one thing in common; they can all play the blues harp. While the album revolves around the harp; it is never boring and avoids repetition and a sameness by mixing up the tempos and instruments.

Blues Harp Women is a fine introduction to an area of the blues that is rarely explored in one place. Give it a spin and hang on.

Rating: ****