Zac Harmon

Zac Harmon
Music is Medicine

Urban Eagle LLC

By Lady K
November 2012

Born in Jackson MS, relocated (in the ‘80s) to Los Angeles, Zac Harmon’s previous experience includes writing for the O’Jays, among others. He has since returned to Mississippi to fulfill his blues mission, and soaking up the Delta air and vibes seems to have worked well for Harmon (his early involvement in the soul music world no doubt lead to his creation of a CD chock full of soulful blues).

In addition to Zac Harmon (singer, songwriter and guitarist), his band includes Cedric Goodman (drums, vocals), Corey Lacy (keyboards, vocals), Buthel (bass), with assist on various tracks by Christopher Troy (keyboards, drums), Ralph Forrest and Lavelle Jones (drums), BR Million and Gregg Wright (guitar), and James Strong (bass).

“Miss American Girl” is a rocking blues guitar, mid-tempo tune (which is not about the well-known doll line). He uses the tune to extoll the attributes of the women of America. “I been all around the world, in beautiful places / I’ve seen lots of pretty girls, in beautiful places.” Even so, he prefers the “beautiful girls right here in the USA – Miss American Girl (that’s what I like).” His tune mentions California, Mississippi, Atlanta, Georgia, New York City, Washington, DC, Louisiana, Miami, Jackson, Mississippi – just to name a few.

The super-bluesy, swingin’ “Blue Pill Thrill” showcases Harmon’s guitar prowess and his sense of humor, regarding what a difference a little blue pill can make. “Things weren’t working out quite the way they should. Went to the doctor to see about my condition – got a prescription – now I’ve got the ‘blue pill thrill. I found out it’s what Jack gave Jill when they went up the hill – the blue pill thrill. I didn’t know what happened – ooh what a surprise. Now I feel much stronger, everything is going to rise with the blue pill thrill.” (Lady K will have what Zac’s having, please . . .)

More rocking guitar blues riffs with some tasty organ backup make the up-tempo “Running from the Devil” a life-lesson made for dancing (or at least toe-tapping and head-bobbing). “Every day brings a new challenge: you might be ready / one step from evil, or one step from the holy one. I keep running from the devil – just trying to keep up with the lord. Life I’m living feels just like a maze, when I try to do what’s right, I get stuck in my old ways. The devil makes his own rules, so you better have Jesus or start singing the blues.”

“Grandma’s Prayer” is Lady K’s favorite track on this CD. It’s got the gospel feel, including choir-like vocal backup; and is a slow and soulful tune, with lyrics that’ll bring tears to your eyes: “I had a prayin’ grandmama, seems she was always down on her knees – praying for family and friends, but mostly she was praying for me.” Mid-tune, different vocalists sing about their own grandmothers, and their own memories – all with love; a totally awesome song. “She prayed ‘father God, won’t you protect my child,’ talking to God like she was talking to a friend.” The tune ends with a low whisper: “I miss you, Grandma!!!!!” Lady K got quite misty-eyed, and the ever-growing organ flourishes helped to induce the tears.

Ain’t nary a twang in “Country Boy,” just a sexy blues beat with more of that compelling guitar. “I was born in Jackson, Mississippi / one thing I’ll always remember, mama said to always be proud to be a country boy. I left town in 1979, to make it big, with stars on my mind / not matter how big I might be I’ll always remember what my mama told me.” The blended guitar and organ instrumental leads to a spoken finale about loving country: “yeah, that’s me – I love God and country, I like to hunt and fish and drive trucks too.” A country boy at heart, no matter what road he’s following . . .

And, another Lady K favorite is “Wounded,” a slow, sexy, soulful duet with Sueann Carwell; Zac and Sueann trading hurts in a musical “conversation.” She sings “I gave you my heart and soul, but I didn’t know I’d be so wounded.” He sings “so I gave you my heart, but I didn’t know I’d be wounded by you.” She “I gave, and I gave, and I gave my soul, but I didn’t know . . .”

Zac Harmon has a good thing going with Music is Medicine, and we blues lovers all know that’s true.

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