[I’m breaking format here to post a music review on this blog because you are getting a 2-for-1, as I posted the companion to this album on my musik-ONLY blog a couple of days ago]

April 21, 2019, Richmond, Virginia – I just met the star singer of “Mississippi Hippie Blues” and her husband in an Airbnb Inn kitchen! By the time we parted company a few days later, she gave me her CDs to check out. While still trying to figure this new area out; (will I stay? but I must chsange something…) I decide to write about her Rochelle Harper Band, “We’re Stayin’, Ya Hear!!” (2007) that I listened to while traveling up and down I-95, house-hunting.

I leave the room after hitting “play” every time because I know she’s gonna yell, “MISS-ISSIPPEEEEE!!!” at the top of her ample lungs,(and it really irks me) beginning (the Shed Song) of this album. It shocked me the first time, as I like to listen to musik loud. Maybe it is her native area rallying cry; I either skip it or turn it down for a second.

Track two, “The Blugill”, reminds me of the 1970s band, Tower of Power with Lenny Williams, in many ways! I hear a lovely baritone sax in this collection! Any band featuring a baritone is #1 with me! The brass and woodwinds reminds me of the legendary Memphis Horns. The drummer, I am guessing, the same one from her solo album, Blair Shotts, is crisp and Motown-accurate! They cover Hoagy Carmichael’s “Georgia” on cut four, doing their just respect to the classic.

“Spare Set Of Keys”, song number seven , features Ricky Chancy on that Nashville honk-tonk harmonica from the outset. It must be the sea-air flava of one of those Gulf Coast “boogie-woogie” party events that Rochelle described to me when we met at the Airbnb Inn.

Slowly, easily, I heart cut 10, “Your Woman”, one of my favorites of the two CDs they gave me. Understand that the guitar hook partially makes it happen. “I’ve got to be/If I’m not your wo-mon…” [organ out]

Then, if you wanted to hit “repeat”, don’t! The next song, “I dun Caught dem Blues” does it one better – or at least stays in the same pocket. Catching you with a time-tested guitar solo over soulful blues strut, it comes back-to-back with the guitars highlighting Rochelle’s musical mouthfuls in the midst of a big-time bluesy organ fantasy foundation for their solos. This one is, as a straight long-distance drive in the interstate, a groove that could go on forever.

Curiously, track twelve….”Amazing Grace” is not what its title suggests, and sounds very much like a cover of The Animals’ “House Of The Rising Sun” with different words. Indeed, the inner cover jacket (shown in the video below) denotes that its about a Rising SON. Whose?

The Rochelle Harper Band has pure potential for live performances, for sure. She says “the daddy [she] hardly knew inspired” her to shoot for the highest of heights and also that, sadly, one of the members died recently. A succinct aggregation of sounds that transcend musical moods and categories, with her as catalyst, is an intergalactic formula. One minute they are funky and the next rockin’ soulful country blues, with the energy of a Marvel action movie!

All-in-all, you will hear entertaining music with crisp and clear studio production (until she yells again, lol). How about some new stuff, y’all?
“One Mississippi…two Mississippi…Three Mississippi” peace signs, out of five.

***PickHit: check out my review of Rochelle’s solo album here https://achilliadsmyvinylrecordshoppe.wordpress.com/2019/05/14/a-real-rochelle-rochelle-musical/

OR…over at my satellite, musik-ONLY blog, “achilliadsmyvinylrecordshoppe” (link in the side bar to the right)