Graham Reid | | 1 min read
It's pretty well established that blues artists, with a few obvious exceptions, don't sell many albums in this country. But when they play live an audience always turns up.
When the great singer/guitarist Grant Haua – of Swamp Thing with Mike Barker, but also a solo artist – released this excellent solo album late last year we were snowed under and incapacitated.
But the blues and Haua are enduring and with a solo show in Auckland coming up (as well as a radio interview/session scheduled) it's certainly worth shining a spotlight on his earthy vocals and phenomenal guitar skills on this solo acoustic album.
But first let's note his Awa Blues album of two years ago which is also something you should check out.
He is just back from playing in Western Australia, is getting back with Barker and bassist Brian Franks to record a power trio album before heading off to tour it in France (he's signed to the French label Dixie Frog) later in the year.
Yep, Haua is some kind of hard working machine and with the energy he brings to the Tahanga album (which opens with the incendiary Bad Man) you could power a small city.
He revisits some of the material on Awa Blues (among them the excellent Tough Love Mumma and This is the Place which is a tribute to ancestors and whanau), takes Ray Charles' soulful I Got a Woman into urgent blues and speaks to and from the heart on Addiction and Better Day (the latter also from Awa Blues).
Grant Haua is the real deal in the blues and with his soulful voice – which can shift from raw to reserved – he's worth hearing, here or in concert.
You can hear and buy this album (and others by Haua) at bandcamp here
Grant Haua plays Auckland Blues Music Club, 1130 Gt North Rd, Pt Chevalier, Auckland, Wednesday April 19