Old school blues fresh, spicy and tasty

Zac Harmon to release Mississippi Bar BQ on Catfood Records on July 19. 

Zac Harmon is a Mississippi secret star, whose time has come to shine.

He was born and raised in Jackson, his father was the city’s first state registered black pharmacist and his mother played piano.

His father also played harmonica and tended to the needs of some old-school souls you’re sure to recognize — Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Ike and Tina Turner, Albert King and Little Milton.

On July 19, his most recent project, Mississippi Bar BQ, will release and it sounds fresh, saucy and like old-school blues with a twist of Chipotle.

The album was produced by Grammy - winner Jim Gaines, who has worked with Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Journey, to name a few.

“For the first time in my career, I have had the opportunity to just be the best artist I can be at the guidance of a master producer” Zac said, “On this new CD, I got a chance to work with The Rays, which is a group of studio musicians headed up by Bob Trenchard. The Rays are incredible, and they bring the best out of every song. I also got a chance to collaborate in the writing with Bob Trenchard (Johnny Rawls, Otis Clay) and John Hahn (Shemekia Copeland). These great writers proved their worth on every song. My favorite is the title song, ‘Mississippi Bar BQ,’ which was the brainchild of Bob Trenchard. One of my other favorites is ‘A Dollar Out of 15 Cents,’ which I wrote with John Hahn. This CD is top shelf.”

On most songs, Zac is either accompanied by his touring band or The Rays, who are, Bob Trenchard – bass; Richy Puga – drums; Johnny McGhee – guitar; Dan Ferguson – keyboards; Mike Middleton – trumpet; Andy Roman – alto sax; Nick Flood – tenor and baritone sax; and Drake Dominigue – trombone and tuba.

Ten of the songs are original, listen for the title track and “So Cold.” He also does a masterful, killer version of Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.”

Today Zac Harmon continues to tour both nationally and internationally as an ambassador of this great American classical music art form called the Blues.

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