HGR CD Review: Nate Myers

NATE MYERS – IT’S MY MUSIC (no label) On his sixth full-length release, It’s My Music, Harrisburg-based blues harp proficionado Nate Myers broadens his musical horizons and expands his blues-based sound into a diversity of styles, with impressive results. Over 13 tracks, It’s My Music finds Myers harping, singing and scatting with his band the Aces and a plethora of guest musicians through a multitude of flavors; including blues, Texas waltz, rock, soul, country/Americana, hip-hop, swing and more. A capable storyteller, Myers marries traditional blues with a hip-hop touch to share the story of a Chicago-bound bluesman on the title track “It’s My Music.” He weaves a sad story of unfulfilled love on the Texas-flavored “Waltz for 1,” and conceals a secret on the folksy “Marked Man.” Myers celebrates brassy R&B on the disc-opener “Her Hand My Hand,” revels in the joy of living on the uptempo rocker “Breathe,” crafts a catchy ‘60s-flavored blue-eyed soul dance number on “Back Porch Swing,” and jumps, jives and wails on his own jump-blues romp “Dip Dip Wadda Dip.” Myers doesn’t neglect his blues foundation here, providing additional highlights with the slinky blues of “You Know” and its smoking midsong harp solo, as well as the dark and bluesy closer “Rainin.’” Myers’ voice and harmonica tie all of the songs together into a cohesive whole, and his distinctive presence and personality stamp his signature decisively throughout this entire set; per the album title, it's indeed his music. His cast of players give additional color, variety and depth to the songs, keeping the set sounding fresh from start to end. The production by Myers, Pete Netznik and Jason Shaffer enable each song to radiate, and the mixes sound balanced and smooth throughout. It’s My Music shows Nate Myers embracing more styles of music and making them his own; and this is a fun album that should keep listeners tapping toes from start to finish. (The CD can be obtained through Myers’ website, www.natemyers.com.)