Self-Release – 2016
10 tracks; 46 minutes
Unfortunately this CD reached Blues Blast with no information other than the single sheet cover which gives the song titles but nothing else. It is not therefore possible to credit any musicians other than RoHarpo who it is safe to assume handles vocals and harp; drums, bass and keys are also present. There is also no indication of a release date though his website reveals that a CD release party was held on 27 February 2016! The website also states that Ro was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana but is now based in Sacramento, California.
The overall style here is blues with a dash of funk, Ro playing plenty of harp throughout. There are no writing credits but several songs are re-workings of familiar tunes such as “Treat Me So Mean” (with a spoken section that recalls Barry White) and “Give Me Back My Weave” which is Hound Dog Taylor’s tune with one word changed. Opener “In Love” is more of a funky tune with some nice guitar accents and “Give Me Your Hand” is a fast shuffle. “Shake What You Got” is a strange track with a lower sonic quality, Ro’s vocals sounding rather distant and an annoying synth riff coming from the far right of your headphones. Things improve with “I Can’t Trust You” as Ro plays some gentle harp on a slower song in which Ro’s relationship seems to be falling apart.
Two longer tunes follow: “Let It Be What It Be” has another spoken vocal, this time recalling Isaac Hayes, and some horns in the background; “Tears In Your Eyes” appears to be a live recording (with a noticeable drop in sound clarity – the recording also picks up someone answering a cell phone in the background!), a slow soul-blues ballad which Ro delivers well though at over eight minutes it does outstay its welcome. We return to studio recordings for “What Is It You Like About Me”, a shuffle with good harp work, and “Don’t Put Me In A Spot”, a stripped-back fast tune with Ro’s harp backed by just guitar and tambourine.
Overall nothing special to discuss here but plenty of harp to enjoy. It is a pity that there was not more information to pass on to readers to help to explain the background to the disc.