I can’t recall exactly when I introduced Jimmy “Duck” Holmes to Terry “Harmonica” Bean. It was probably sometime in 2006 at one of the many blues festivals held in the Mississippi Delta. If not, then it had to be in early 2007. In June of that year, Terry joined Duck on stage for a few songs at the Shannon Street Blues Festival in Jackson, Tennessee. Since then, they have played together in settings ranging from informal front porch jams to high-profile events like the Chicago Blues Festival.
Through the years, Terry and Duck have formed a tight bond, becoming true blues brothers – minus the fedoras, thankyouverymuch. And like most brothers, their relationship has had its share of hurdles. I can recall a fierce argument in Bentonia, Mississippi, a few years back and another spirited spat on a trip to Geneva, Switzerland in 2012. But music has a funny way of healing all manner of rifts, so despite their occasional differences, Duck and Terry always seem to find their way back to each other.
This record demonstrates why. Recorded at one long session in the fall of 2012, it features the two bluesmen in a variety of settings including some beautiful solo tracks by each man, as well as some swaggering cuts featuring the stick work of veteran drummer Frank Vick of Greenville, Mississippi. But my favorite tracks are those that feature Duck’s primal guitar sparring with Terry’s soulful harmonica. On their own, Duck and Terry play some of the hardest-hitting blues around. Together, they’re twice as hard.