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Every Now and Then, a Fabulous New Talent Arrives on the Blues Harp Scene… November 11, 2010

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.

Brandon Bailey, in my humble opinion, is one of those rare talents. His debut recording , Memphis Grooves, is a must listen and surely proves that point: 13 cuts, 50 minutes, currently available only as a digital downloadbelow (see below for preview and purchase information.) It truly is blues for the year 2010 and beyond – combining aq familiar feel done in way that are really unique and unexpected.

Once you hear it you’ll realize Mr. Bailey does it all. With the exception of “Superstition,” where Adam Gussow joins him on harp and footdrums, every single sound on this album is something Brandon produced with his mouth, harmonica, shaker, and thumping foot. There are no sidemen here, or samples, and no more than a handful of overdubs. Using only the aforementioned props, plus a looping pedal, Brandon created almost all of these songs in the studio in real time. Incredible unto itself!

MP3 samples & download here:

CD Wave file samples & download here:

Born in St. Louis, raised in south Memphis, with a great-grandfather who played some harmonica, Brandon has an unusually bluesy pedigree. In 2008, at the age of 16, he rose through the ranks of several hundred contestants to make the finals of the Orpheum Star Search competition in Memphis, then won the finals by performing the J. Geils Band’s harmonica showpiece, “Whammer Jammer,” with the house band. “Whammer Jammer” is featured on Memphis Grooves, but Brandon–an innovator as well as historian–throws in a couple of surprises that freshen things up. He also demonstrates his mastery of the tradition that lies behind Magic Dick’s harp wizardry. Two cuts on the album, “Bye Bye Bird” and “Nine Below Zero,” are classics ripped straight from the Sonny Boy Williamson songbook. Brandon stands at the ribbon mic, stomps his foot, and blows old-school blues on the big low Marine Band harp. Brandon has three original song on the recording as well, but I want you all to give it a listen and see for yourselves..it’s well worth the discovery process.

You will surely smile, tap your foot like I did…feeling assured that the blues are alive and well in Memphis, Tennessee and the future of blues harp is in very good hands indeed.

MP3 Download here:

CD Wave file here:


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