David Johansen has been a true chameleon throughout his illustrious career. He was a member of the hugely influential New York Dolls, had a successful solo debut in 1977, and at the end of 1984, resurfaced in the pompadoured guise of Buster Poindexter, a supposed ethnomusicologist armed with an expansive knowledge of pop and R&B chestnuts.
Since Johansen's last outing as Buster Poindexter in 1994, he has been performing around New York City with The Harry Smiths, a band made up of four veteran musicians: Brian Koonin, Larry Saltzman, Kermit Driscoll, and Joey Baron.
David Johansen, with the Harry Smiths, takes inspiration from Harry Smith on a number of levels. In fact, some of the songs on their self-titled debut recording for Chesky Records, to be released in the US on March 28, were inspired by songs on Smith's famed Anthology of American Folk Music. Johansen combines his background in rock & roll with down and dirty Chicago blues, presenting both traditional blues tunes like "Delia" (arranged by Bob Dylan) and classic compositions by the likes of Muddy Waters ("Little Geneva"), Lightnin' Hopkins ("Katie Mae") and Mississippi John Hurt ("Richland Woman"). David's famous voice lends itself perfectly to these emotionally raw songs, and through an alchemical process that would make Smith proud, David Johansen and the Harry Smiths turn these dark tales of loss and death into aural gold.