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Kemp Harris Edenton review

Kemp HarrisKemp Harris titled his new album after his home Edenton North Carolina. It makes sense to me, use your "home is where the heart is" philosophy, and turn it into music and lyrics that come from the very core of your soul. Harris sings about much more than his former hometown (he resides in Boston now) but I cannot help feeling that was the foundation for everything else that happened on this recording.

This CD has continued to grow on me with the passing of time. I liked it when I first heard it but the more I listen to the music and words, the more it permeates my senses in every way. Harris reminded me of Robert Cray at times with his vocal style. He is very expressive and emotional when he sings a song and the 11 tracks on this recording benefit from those feelings and thoughts projected through the music. Harris uses his ears and heart to lead him on this recording session. He also gets some help from the Holmes Brothers with backing vocals for some extra depth and soul on tracks 2, 3, & 10.

I like the way Harris mixes up the blues with gospel and combines the two effectively. The album opens up with a 57-second intro called “Sometimes” then launches into “Sweet Weepin Jesus,” a blues-gospel burner. It is not too hard to figure out which tracks are gospel injected when you look at the titles. My favorites were “Tryin Times,” one that befits the days we live in, and this could apply to so many things depending on who you are, and the gospel track “Didn’t It Rain,” which sounds like an old time spiritual that you would hear ringing out from a church in the deep south somewhere. It really touched me and gave me a feeling of hope and desperation all at the same time. “Edenton” sounds like it could be a single earmarked for radio play; it would be a logical choice for a crossover hit that would lead to a lot of interest in this artist.

That is my take on what I heard now it is up to you to check it out for yourself. If you enjoy the blues or gospel this is a spot on independent release that you will find great joy in hearing until that day comes when the rain begins to fall and it never ends.

Artist: Kemp Harris
Title: Edenton
Genre: Blues-Gospel
Label: Righteous Mischeif LLC

01. Sometimes (0:57)
02. Sweet Weepin Jesus (4:45)
03. Day After Day (4:38)
04. Tryin Times (5:03)
05. Ruthie’s (3:32)
06. Didn’t It Rain (3:13)
07. Mother Earth (3:15)
08. Miles Between Us (5:25)
09. Nightlife (3:02)
10. Edenton (4:41)
11. Sometimes (reprise) (1:09)


Kemp Harris: Vocals & Piano
Jim Lucchese: Drums
Josh Stoltzfus: Guitar
Brian Verrochi: Bass


Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

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