Review: James Harman – Didn’t We Have Some Fun Sometime


Review: James Harman - Didn't We Have Some Fun Sometime

James Harman – Didn’t We Have Some Fun Sometime
Format: CD / Label: Electro-Fi Records
Release: 2024

Tekst: Pascal Wilhelm

James Harman was one of the most outstanding standard-bearers of the 50’s style blues.

This last record with all originals (he died in 2021) was recorded, mixed, and mastered at Sacred Cat Studios in Oceanside and Mountain Center by the great Nathan D. James, Harman’s protégé. Harman took him out on the road at a very young age and taught him the ropes. “James Harman was the real deal and he taught me many things as a young man straight out of high school as we travelled across the United States to play American Blues music. I am forever grateful for the experience.“ With this record, Nathan pays respect to his master, and he couldn’t have done a better job.

Recordings were taken from livestreams made during the pandemic at Nathan’s place and other studio sessions. The song: ”A hand shake” is a reminder of the situation we found ourselves in when Covid-19 hit the world: “Tellin’ you bub, I need a hug, hell a handshake wouldn’t be too bad.”

Harman’s storytelling was exceptional and there are several great examples of this on this record which is, in all, a very transparent production with tastefully added percussion (listen to percussionist Michael Tempo on A Rut And A Groove) and dirty low-down guitar sounds and grooves.

Nathan has been doing solo shows in which he uses foot drum percussion, the sound and the groove also being present on this record. The record also features Marty Dodson and Hal Smith on drums, Troy Sandow on bass guitar and Carl Sonny Leyland and Gene Taylor on piano.

The album title “Didn’t we have some fun sometime” was what Harman’s father said to his wife in his death bed just before he passed away. With this heartbreaking understatement James Harman says farewell, leaving us with this beautiful record.

At the same time, when you look at the front cover, he appears to say: “Hey now!” to any old fan or new fan picking up this record. This is a must have. Period.

01. Pick Up The Slack
02. A Rut And A Groove
03. A Hand Shake
04. Work Don’t Come To Me
05. Who’s Got The Geetus
06. Mind’s Eye Makes The Call
07. That Old Clock
08. You Can’t Arrest Me For What’s On My Mind
09. Trouble Loadin’ Mama
10. Knock Me Out Again
11. Taking It On The Lam
12. Didn’t We Have Some Fun Sometime