Corey Harris

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Corey Harris
Corey Harris 31 Rawa Blues 2011 005.jpg
Background information
Born (1969-02-21) February 21, 1969 (age 53)
Denver, Colorado, United States
GenresBlues, reggae
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1995–present
LabelsAlligator, Rounder, Telarc
WebsiteOfficial website
MembersChris Whitley (keyboards), Paul Dudley, (drums) Gordon Jones (saxophone), Jayson Morgan (bass)

Corey Harris (born February 21, 1969, in Denver, Colorado, United States) is an American blues and reggae musician,[1] currently residing in Charlottesville, Virginia. Along with Keb' Mo' and Alvin Youngblood Hart, he raised the flag of acoustic guitar blues in the mid-1990s.[2] He was featured on the 2003 PBS television mini-series, The Blues, in an episode directed by Martin Scorsese.


Harris was born and raised near Denver, Colorado.[1] He graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine with a bachelor's degree in 1991, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2007. Harris received a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship for language studies in Cameroon in his early twenties, before taking a teaching post in Napoleonville, Louisiana under the Teach For America program.[2][3] His debut solo album Between Midnight and Day (1995) was produced by Grammy nominee/composer/producer Larry Hoffman, who discovered him in 1994 in Helena, Arkansas. The record included covers of Sleepy John Estes, Fred McDowell, Charlie Patton, Muddy Waters, and Booker White.[2] His second recording with Hoffman, Fish Ain't Bitin', was the recipient of the 1997 W.C. Handy Award for Best Acoustic Blues Album of the Year. Recorded in New Orleans, it featured Harris' original songs, vocal, and guitar backed on certain tracks by a trio of tuba and two trombones arranged by producer Hoffman. In 2002, Harris collaborated with Ali Farka Toure on his album Mississippi to Mali, fusing blues and Toure's music from northern Mali. In 2003, he contributed to the Northern Blues release Johnny's Blues: A Tribute To Johnny Cash.

Harris has lived and traveled widely in West Africa, an influence that has permeated much of his work.[1] Harris has toured extensively throughout Europe, Canada, West Africa, Japan and Australia. He is known for his solo acoustic work as well as his electric band, formerly known as the '5 x 5', now known as The Corey Harris Band. He helped Billy Bragg and Wilco to write the music for "Hoodoo Voodoo" on Mermaid Avenue, an album consisting entirely of songs for which the lyrics were written by Woody Guthrie. He also appeared as a musician and vocalist on the album and its sequels, Mermaid Avenue Vol. II and Mermaid Avenue Vol. III.

In September 2007, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced that Harris was among 24 people named MacArthur Fellows for 2007.[4] The Fellowship, worth $500,000, is payable over five years.



  • 1995: Between Midnight and Day (Alligator)
  • 1997: Fish Ain't Bitin' (Alligator)
  • 1999: Greens from the Garden (Alligator)
  • 2000: Vu-Du Menz (Alligator)
  • 2001: Live at Starr Hill 1/27/01 (Njumba)
  • 2002: Downhome Sophisticate (Rounder)
  • 2003: Mississippi to Mali (Rounder)
  • 2005: Daily Bread (Rounder)
  • 2007: Zion Crossroads (Telarc)
  • 2009: (Telarc)
  • 2011: Father Sun Mother Earth (Njumba)
  • 2012: Motherless Child (with Lutan Fyah)
  • 2013: Fulton Blues
  • 2013: Rasta Blues Experience Live
  • 2014: Fulton Blues (Deluxe Edition)
  • 2015: Live! from Turtle Island
  • 2016 Live in Vienna
  • 2018 Free Water Way
  • 2019 Louisa County Blues[5]

Contributions to others[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Nineties Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 187. ISBN 0-7535-0427-8.
  2. ^ a b c Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues - From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. pp. 116–117. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.
  3. ^ Burns, Jay. "Corey Harris '91 | Commencement | Bates College". Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  4. ^ "Corey Harris — MacArthur Foundation". Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Corey Harris | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
    • 2021 The Insurrection Blues
  6. ^ Harris contributed his version of "Redemption", originally found on Cash's American Recordings.

External links[edit]