Travelin’ With the Blues

Canadian bluesman Harpdog Brown has won a slew of accolades from his countrymen during his 30-plus-year career. He’s also kept busy north of the border during that time. However, in keeping with the CD’s title—Travelin’ With the Blues—he and some compatriots came to the Bay Area to record (in mono!) the CD’s 14 tracks with the help of a few guests, such as on the bouncy opener, “Better Days” (he’s seen them), with Kid Andersen on guitar and Oroville’s own Jimmy Morello(!) on drums (and how!). Charlie Musselwhite swaps leads with the talented harpist on a lively “Moose on the Loose,” while with Carl Sonny Leyland, the English boogie-woogie pianist, he goes back in time on “Fine Little Girl Rag.” Harpdog’s stellar harp playing is a real pleasure throughout, as is his songwriting, especially on the rock ’n’ rollish “For Better or Worse.” What about his moniker? He explains it all on the funereally paced talking blues, “What’s Your Real Name.” A lot of good playing and singing here. Welcome to the USA, eh?