Erin Harpe has been called “one of the most dynamic, talented and exciting roots rocking blues women on the scene” by Living Blues Magazine. Winner of the 2018 Boston Blues Challenge, and nominated for 2018 “Blues Artist of the Year” by the Boston Music Awards, Erin is having an exciting year. Brought up on delta and piedmont blues, which she learned from her dad, Erin recently returned from the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, where she made it to the Semi-Finals playing solo. Just back from her second British Isles tour, Erin has a busy year ahead of her, including tour stops in Chicago, Texas, a week teaching blues guitar workshops at Augusta Blues & Swing Week in West Virginia, as well as plenty of festivals and tour dates around the US.
Erin comes to Riverwalk on Thursday, September 19th with her new acoustic trio Erin Harpe & the Messers. Appropriately dubbed “shit-kicking blues” on her recent UK tour, Erin’s new acoustic group is a “no-holds-barred freight train of old-school roots blues!” Featuring Erin Harpe (vocals, acoustic guitar, foot percussion and kazoo), Jim Countryman (ukelele bass), and Jason Novak (harmonica) – they’ll take you to the Delta with Erin’s blues originals and songs by Memphis Minnie, Mississippi John Hurt, Tommy Johnson and Willie Brown, as well as other lesser-known pre-war blues artists. The Messers are a must-see roots/blues/Americana act on the rise!
Growing up in Maryland, Erin learned finger-style blues guitar from her dad, visual artist/guitarist/Stella guitar expert Neil Harpe, as well as from watching local piedmont blues luminaries such as John Cephas & Phil Wiggins, John Jackson, Eleanor Ellis, Warner Williams, and others – at the famed Archie’s Barbershop in Washington, DC. Later moving to Boston, Erin put out two acoustic blues albums, Blues Roots (2002) and Delta Blues Duets (2008) – an album of duets with her dad – in between touring and releasing five albums with her rock band Lovewhip (with hubby/bass player Jim Countryman). Erin’s soulful vocal style and accomplished finger-picking guitar playing has earned her many fans, including guitar greats Ronnie Earl and Billy Gibbons, and she is quickly becoming recognized on the international blues scene.
Erin has most recently put out three albums with her band Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers – 2014's Love Whip Blues (produced by Dave Gross, received 4 stars in DownBeat Magazine); 2017's Big Road (made the TOP TEN in Roots Music Report's “Contemporary Blues Albums” chart, the iTop “Top 100 Blues Albums” AND Relix Jamband Radio Charts), and 2018's The Christmas Swing, which made it to #2 on the Roots Music Report’s Top 50 Holiday Album Charts, as well as #17 on the Living Blues Charts in December! Erin also released an instructional guitar DVD in 2016, Women of the Country Blues Guitar (through Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop). Erin also teaches finger style guitar and gives workshops! She will be teaching this July 14-20 at Augusta Blues & Swing Week in West Virginia, along with Phil Wiggins, Jontavious Willis and many other greats in the acoustic blues scene.