Erin Harpe – Meet Me In The Middle
Format: CD – Digital / Label: VizzTone Label Group
Release: 2020

Text: Iain Patience

It’s always a pleasure to find another album from US roots and blues picker Erin Harpe on the horizon. Here she is joined by her partner, Jim Countryman, on bass as she rolls through a dozen tracks that highlight her strength and powerful vocal delivery alongside the usual clever, delightful and nuanced acoustic guitar picking.

Tracks covered range across the traditional blues gamut to include some well-known standards like ‘Rollin’ and Tumblin’, ‘When I Lay my Burden Down’ and ‘What’s The Matter With The Mill’ to the album title track, one of those numbers seldom covered and largely overlooked these days.

Countryman’s bass is always noticeable in the best way – never too demanding or distracting but just ‘there,’ with a solid backbeat that moves along perfectly in pitch and pace. Harpe is a consummate picker with bags of accomplished ability and an assurance that seems to grow with each new release. Her voice is raw and emotive, powerfully passionate and clearly confident and boiling as needed.

After a gap of around twelve months since her last offering, it’s a true delight to have this wonderful album featuring Harpe pretty much picking and performing at her very best here. ‘Meet Me In The Middle’ is one of those albums that has bags of quality, a generally cracking range of tracks and an old-school, acoustic blues mastery that is seldom found these days.

Grab it while you can, you won’t be disappointed.

01. All Night Long (Original)
02. Hard Luck Woman (Original)
03. Meet Me In The Middle (Original)
04. Women Be Wise (Sippie Wallace)
05. I Hate That Train Called The M&O
06. Rollin and Tumblin (Traditional)
07. Pick Poor Robin Clean (Geeshie Wiley)
08. When I Lay My Burden Down (Traditional)
09. What’s The Matter With The Mill (Memphis Minnie)
10. One Fine Day (Original)

Website: Erin Harpe