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Harlis Sweetwater / Press

"Lights Goin' Down" is the latest album from the Anaheim, California based singer/guitarist Harlis Sweetwater. But the fact that he comes from California does not we hear sweet-voiced Westcoast-music. On the contrary, for that matter, he could have been pulled out of the Mississippi Delta clay. That is immediately evident at the first track, a cover of the Willie Dixon classic "Backdoor Man". A great blues song, which fits to the growling voice and the guitar work of Sweetwater. Also "Like A Woman Should" is a real blues, but just a bit faster and louder. But it's not just stamping rocking music that we hear. Just listen to the sensitive and soulful "I Can't Justify". The closing song is again knee deep in the Delta clay, "Mistreater Blues" which, in my opinion, a bit like Mississippi Fred McDowell.

“The Harlis Sweetwater Band is a classic Blues/Soul/Rock band from Huntington Beach, CA that is bringing audiences great bluesy, hard rocking songs on their new EP Lights Goin’ Down. This band is mad talented, with good soul songs that get your foot tapping and has you singing along to the lyrics.”

“Across the seven songs presented on the album, the members of the Harlis Sweetwater Band give a nod to blues history while forging forward with their own hard blues style. The romping rhythm shifts of “I Just Wanna Be Your Lover” show a band that is in control musically and capable of driving home catchy riffs. “I Can’t Justify” measures up as one of the best tracks on the album. Lights Goin’ Down emerges as a representation of a genre’s progression as the blues moves into modern Times. In this collection, rhythm is key: from laying down a dedicated beat on “Like a Woman Should” to expertly juggling multiple rhythms on “I Just Wanna Be Your Lover,” the Harlis Sweetwater Band is notable for their sheer technical power and prowess. Each new listen unveils new complexities woven into the album’s instrumental layers, and with such irrefutable beats driven into its core, Lights Goin’ Down is sure to keep anyone’s foot tapping along.”

“This album by Harlis Sweetwater Band begins with a real attention grabber. "Back Door Man" is an uptempo song with not only a blues theme, but also a good blues sound. This song is a great introduction to Sweetwater's deep growling vocals and his chops on the guitar. And if you like that blues tune, just check out "Like a Woman Should." This is lowdown blues, but louder and faster. Sweetwater finishes the album with a little change-up. It's a blues tune, but this is much more like Mississippi Fred McDowell than the raucous blues earlier on the album. Another significant part of this album is soul. The best example is a sort of slow-burning soul song called "I Can't Justify." The mood of this song (but certainly not the vocals) reminds me of Curtis Mayfield. This album is brilliant. It takes three of my favorite things (soul, blues, and rock) and blends them all together perfectly into a sound that you can't help moving to. Harlis Sweetwater is a fan of soul music and it shows. He ha”

“Did I mention that we love soul music? Harlis Sweetwater Band (Orange County, CA) provides heaping helpings of soul and blues with this new album. The opening track takes on a classic blues theme of the “Back Door Man.” I don’t know about you, but don’t think I‘ve ever heard a bad song about this particular character. Harlis Sweetwater’s vocals are perfect for this kind of music. He has the same kind of deep growl that has been howlin’ the blues since its beginnings. He’s also pretty good at the soul stuff too. Don’t believe me? Just listen to “I Can’t Justify.” If you want some music you can feel and not just hear, check out this band.- Incognito Magazine”

“Harlis Sweetwater - now, that's a great rock 'n' roll name - remember him? He used to come up here to the 805 and make us get drunk while be played sweaty, bluesy rock with his band, Barrelhouse. This one is "Lights Goin' Down" and it's as good as anything Sweetwater has done in the past - and he's been plenty good and also one of the few people behind the Orange Curtain to have contracted a case of the blues. Kicking it off with a Willie Dixon tune ("Backdoor Man") is always a smart move but "I Just Wanna Be Your Lover," the blueprint for a horndog's holiday and "Like A Woman Should" are not just great blues tunes but also feature incendiary guitars from Sweetwater and Ray Booth. The title tune rocks, too, on the hardest rockin' blues album since Dave Hole. You may need asbestos ear muffs for this one”

“Driving blues act The Harlis Sweetwater Band is heading to SLO and Paso to play in support of Lights Goin’ Down, a blistering seven-song EP filled with Sweetwater’s whiskey-soaked voice, ripping guitar, and old school Chicago style blues”

Glen Starkey - New Times Weekly

"Harlis Sweetater is the best vocalist in any genre" -Robert Kinsler, The Register

Robert Kinsler - The Register

"From the heart, Harlis Sweetwater,you know instantly the real deal is upon you. This man knows the blues." - Lucky,Sugarbuzz Magazine

Lucky - Sugarbuzz Magazine

"..a natural at heart filled soul,recalling (Otis) Redding or Al Green .." -Mike Boehm,L.A. TIMES

L.A. Times/OC Edition

"Grunting, Hollering, pleading with ardor-filled note -stretches that define soul singing, allowing breaks and imperfections in his delivery to remain because of the intensified, spontaneous feeling they can convey, Harlis does what soul men do, and makes it sound as if he was born to do it." - Mike Boehm, L.A.TIMES

L.A. TIMES

"Sweetwater's voice is a rich, meaty -timbred marvel; few white boys have sung black music as convincingly..Harlis Sweetwater, may turn out to be the best blue-eyed soul singer in history...Sweetwater pushes his impressive natural talents to the furthest limits.." - Buddy Seigle, OC WEEKLY

Buddy Siegle - , OC Weekly,
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