Harpdog Brown takes Chicago Blues all the way down to New Orleans to give it a vibrant Big Band Blues feel that’s all his own. It’s uptown, not low down. Still a vintage vibe, just a different vintage. Imagine if you crossed Louis Jordan with Muddy Waters!
He has earned a solid reputation as a real-deal purveyor of classic electric blues. Think of the old Chess Records and Sun Records of the late 40’s and early 50’s. These days though, he’s been touring more and more as Harpdog Brown & the Uptown Blues Band – a vintage New Orleans Blues sound featuring slide trombone, keyboards, bass and drums and often a sax and clarinet. Sometimes even with a guitar added in. Still a vintage vibe, just a different vintage! This music will move you! They perform mostly originals yet they often include great songs of the masters from that era. Think Louis Jordan, Satchmo, Sonny Boy Williamson, Wynonie Harris, even Duke Ellington. Audiences are raving about this new show!
His new album, For Love and Money is scheduled for release on April 26, 2019 will capture that upbeat uptempo vibe of New Orleans style Big Band Blues. Producer Steve Dawson (Jim Byrnes, Big Dave McLean, Deep Dark Woods) has assembled his team with recording sessions to be held at The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver BC. This is very much a departure from Harpdog’s classic electric sound of recent years.
He’s been called a Blues Evangelist, and that’s a very fitting moniker. "I speak the blues like it’s the truth, and it is”, he was recently quoted. "I do feel like I’m a servant of the people. A missionary if you will. Music can heal people if they pay attention to the messages in these songs.” He delivers those messages using the vintage sound whether it be with his lowdown classic blues band the Travelin’ Blues Show or with his new Uptown Blues Band. Harpdog says “Blues has a healing power. It’s a beautiful celebration of our perfectly flawed lives. We help people forget about their issues of the moment and then they realize that we all have our issues, and that’s OK.”
Vancouver-based Harpdog Brown was born in Edmonton in 1962, an adopted child who has felt somewhat detached his whole life – "a lifelong battle of not feeling like I belonged. I feel like I was born for the circus, you know, born to travel. The blues tapped me on the shoulder years ago and said ‘this is where you belong, son’. So the blues became my circus and there’s no better way to travel than with a band!”
Harpdog Brown is a gifted vocalist and an imaginative harmonica player. In 2012, he returned to the Canadian blues scene after a 10 year hiatus to raise his son. Since then he has released 3 albums to critical acclaim. He’s won three consecutive Maple Blues Awards for Harmonica Player of the Year (2014/2015/2016), the Fraser Valley Music Award, and has three consecutive Western Canadian Music Awards Nominations. He’s also the recipient of a Juno Nomination and is the only Canadian to win the coveted Muddy Award. In fact in 2016, he was nominated for three Maple Blues Awards (Harmonica Player, Male Vocalist and Album of the Year) for his latest release Travelin’ With The Blues. Travelin’ With The Blues released in 2016 is listed as #9 on the Roots Music Report Top Classic Blues Albums of 2017. This follows his Top 20 charting 2014 release What It Is (Roots Music Report International Blues Albums).