The acclaimed Corey Harris Band will play at the Randolph County Community Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Corey Harris is a powerful singer and accomplished guitarist. His imaginative compositions are marked by a deliberate eclecticism, while his works stay true to the traditional blues formula of compelling vocals and down-home guitar. Harris is a truly unique voice in contemporary music.
Harris was born in Denver, Colo., to parents from Texas and Kentucky. He is a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and band leader who has carved out his own niche in blues. A powerful singer and accomplished guitarist, he has appeared at venues throughout the North America, Europe, Brazil, The Caribbean, West Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
He began his career as a New Orleans street singer, traveling throughout the southern U.S. In his early 20s, he lived in Cameroon, West Africa for a year, which had a profound effect on his later work. He has recorded many old songs of the blues tradition while also creating an original vision of the blues by adding influences from reggae, soul, rock and West African music. His 1995 recording, "Between Midnight and Day," is a tribute to the tradition of acoustic blues.
Subsequent recordings, such as "Greens From the Garden" (1999), "Mississippi to Mali" (2003) and "Daily Bread" (2005) show Harris' maturation from interpreter to songwriter. Some of his imaginative compositions are marked by a deliberate eclecticism; other works stay true to the traditional blues formula of compelling vocals and down-home guitar. With one foot in tradition and the other in contemporary experimentation, Harris is a truly unique voice in contemporary music.
He has performed, recorded and toured with many of the top names in music such as BB King, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, Henry Butler, R.L. Burnside, John Jackson, Ali Farka Toure, Dave Matthews Band, Tracy Chapman, Olu Dara, Wilco, Natalie Merchant and others. His additional recordings include "Fish Ain't Bitin'" (1996), "Vu-Du Menz" (with Henry Butler, 2000), "Downhome Sophisticate" (2002) and "Zion Crossroads" (2007).
In 2003, Harris was a featured artist and narrator of the Martin Scorsese film, "Feel Like Going Home," which traced the evolution of blues from West Africa to the southern U.S. In 2007, he was awarded a $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship - commonly referred to as a "genius award" - from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.