With one foot in tradition and the other in contemporary experimentation, Corey Harris is a truly unique voice in contemporary music. Although well versed in the early history of blues guitar, he’s no well-mannered preservationist, mixing a considerable variety of influences – from New Orleans to the Caribbean to Africa – into his richly expressive music.
In 1995, Alligator released Harris’ debut album, ‘Between Midnight and Day’, a one-man, one-guitar affair that illustrated his mastery of numerous variations on the Delta blues style. In 1999, Harris released what most critics called his strongest work to date, ‘Greens from the Garden’, a kaleidoscope of black musical styles. On Rounder Records in 2002, he released ‘Downhome Sophisticate’, a typically eclectic outing that explored his African influences and added Latin music to his seemingly endless sonic palette. Reggae influences came to the forefront in his Telarc albums Zion Crossroads (2007)and Blu Black (2009). Released in 2013, ‘Fulton Blues’ found Harris revisiting several of his hybrid blues forms in a varied and interesting set.
In 2003 Harris was a featured artist and narrator of the Martin Scorcese 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 MacArthur Fellowship – commonly referred to as a “genius award.”. That same year, he was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Bates College.