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Kemp Harris Kemp Harris

”Sometimes...I feel like I want to go back...Sometimes.”

This plaintive haunting lyric sets the tone and establishes the theme of singer songwriter Kemp Harris’ sophomore release, Edenton. This album is both a literal and figurative journey back to Harris’ roots in Edenton, North Carolina, the town where he was born.

For Harris, an African-American who left the small-town south for the Northeast decades ago, this is a trip home -- home as a musical foundation steeped in southern gospel and the simple truth of the blues, and as a place where we reflect on our place in the world. In the tradition of such intensely personal albums as Sam Cooke’s Night Beat, the album bears a soul of its own.

With almost four decades behind him as a songwriter and performer, Kemp Harris has collaborated with a surprising list of talent. He has shared the stage with Koko Taylor, Taj Mahal and Gil Scott-Heron, as well as composing original music for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.

On Edenton, Harris’ wide range of experience comes through in a powerful and intensely personal album. The album features the legendary Holmes Brothers on backing vocals. The Brothers bring the full force of their talent, providing deep, rootsy harmonies to the raw-boned force of Harris’ lead. With the support of the Holmes Brothers, Harris’s original songwriting and performances reflect a mature artist not content to rehash the clichés of the blues and roots genre. Harris shows his willingness to fuse diverse elements in the search for a more modern and timely blues. Edenton brings an edgier, darker hue to this traditional American music.

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Album Edenton by Kemp Harris


Self Produced



Taj Mahal Taj Mahal
Donny Hathaway Donny Hathaway
voice / vocals
Mississippi John Hurt Mississippi John Hurt
guitar, acoustic
Mississippi Sheiks Mississippi Sheiks
Odetta Odetta
guitar, acoustic
Della Reese Della Reese
voice / vocals
Blind Willie Johnson Blind Willie Johnson
guitar, slide
Keb' Mo' Keb' Mo'

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