Corey Harris is a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and band leader who has carved out his own niche in blues. A powerful singer and accomplished guitarist, he has appeared at venues throughout the North America, Europe, Brazil, The Caribbean, West Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
He began his career as a New Orleans street singer, travelling throughout the southern U.S. In his early twenties he lived in Cameroon, West Africa for a year, which had a profound effect on his later work. He has recorded many old songs of the blues tradition while also creating an original vision of the blues by adding influences from reggae, soul, rock and West African music. His 1995 recording, Between Midnight and Day, is a tribute to the tradition of acoustic blues. Subsequent recordings, such as Greens From the Garden (1999), Mississippi to Mali (2003), and Daily Bread (2005) show Harris’ maturation from interpreter to songwriter. Some of his imaginative compositions are marked by a deliberate eclecticism; other works stay true to the traditional blues formula of compelling vocals and down-home guitar. With one foot in tradition and the other in contemporary experimentation, Harris is a truly unique voice in contemporary music.
He has performed, recorded, and toured with many of the top names in music such as BB King, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, R.L.Burnside, Ali Farka Toure, Dave Matthews Band, Tracy Chapman, Olu Dara, Wilco, and others. His additional recordings include Fish Ain’t Bitin’(1996), Vu-Du Menz (with Henry Butler, 2000), Downhome Sophisticate (2002), Zion Crossroads (2007), and blu black (2010).
In 2003 Harris was a featured artist and narrator of the Martin Scorcese film, “Feel Like Going Home,” which traced the evolution of blues from West Africa to the southern U.S. In 2007, he was awarded a $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship — commonly referred to as a “genius award” — from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
The Campbell Brothers present Sacred Steel: African-American gospel music with electric steel guitar and vocal. This tradition emerges from the House of God Keith Dominion Church, where for over sixty years it has been an integral part of worship and a vital, if little known, American tradition.
As the music moves from sanctuary to concert hall — including the Hollywood Bowl, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, SF Jazz, North Seat Jazz, Brooklyn Academy of Music and Symphony Space — secular audiences are now able to appreciate a performance both devoted and rocking.
Pedal steel guitarist Chuck Campbell (2004 National Heritage Fellowship recipient) and his lap steel-playing brother Darick are two of the finest in this tradition. Rounding out the band, which has been playing together for nearly two decades, is a high-energy rhythm section featuring brother Phil Campbell on electric guitar, his son Carlton on drums, and bassist Daric Bennett. Classic, gutsy gospel vocals by Denise Brown, Tiffany Godette and/or Joyce “Cinnamon” Brown bring the ensemble to a level of energy and expression that defies description.