Mississippi’s own Zac Harmon has released his debut album on Catfood Records, “Mississippi Bar BQ.” It has been No. 1 on Root’s Music Reports Soul Blues Album Chart for eight weeks in a row.
I’ve been a fan of Harmon’s from afar for years. He used to play regularly in Los Angeles and built a long-standing reputation as a blazing blues guitar player, capped by winning the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2004 for best unsigned band. This newest record is produced by Grammy-winner Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Journey), and was recorded at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas.
Leadoff track “Gypsy Love” comes out of the gates with midtempo energy. “Smoke and Mirrors” has a Stevie Wonder-esque groove, tasteful background vocals, and of course, smoking blues guitar licks. “So Cold” has a Three Dog Night-kinda feel to it. Zac isn’t playing by the typical blues numbers, which I like. The production is solid. Harmon is throwing strikes.
You have to love a blues album that has a song titled “Make A Dollar Out of Fifteen Cents!” “Sunday Morning After Saturday Night” is straight outta the B.B. King playbook shuffle. The record ends with a unique cover of Bob Dylan’s “Knocking On Heaven’s Door.” Better than Clapton’s version, in my opinion.
Side note – when you take the CD out of the case, there’s a recipe for Mississippi-style BBQ. Nice touch. This is a solid blues album. Really killer guitar playing. Pick it up if you’re looking for some contemporary blues, and if you’re trying to find a new spice rub for your ribs.
— Jon Siembieda
- Zac Harmon
‘Mississippi Bar BQ’
Label: Catfood Records
Released: July 19, 2019