Corey Harris has spent most of his decade-plus career studying and exploring various musical traditions, particular folk forms in the U.S., the Caribbean, and Africa. With his latest album, blu.black, he says he “wanted to express [his] love for great black music”. In doing so, he’s created a disc highlighting a range of genres, from straight-up blues to reggae to R&B to tracks that display the influence of all these worlds. Harris has never shied away from socially conscious cuts, and that hasn’t changed here (including “Pimps and Thieves”, which probably isn’t about who you might think it’s about). At the same time, the album has a light, or at least optimistic feel to it, epitomized by the easygoing “So Good to Me”. Harris closes with a track simply called “Blues”, showing this world traveler is just as comfortable in his musical beginnings as he ever was.
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