"...picture a world without racism, hate and war. Harry takes this perspective one step further, though, by expanding this simple slogan to include an ending to the whole capitalistic economic system."
11/4/22 BLIND UNCLE HARRY Presents New Album 'Visualize Industrial Collapse'
What are the chances a guy who records a pro-pot song called “Dope Smokers” also sounds like a marijuana user? It shouldn’t come as any great shock that Blind Uncle Harry performs this song of the same name where he gives the immediate impression he’s stoned while performing it on his Visualize Industrial Collapse album. Yep, one can only surmise that the man practices – and likely practices a lot – what he preaches.
But no, his album is not comprised of twelve ‘legalize it’ anthems. However, whether he’s doing this one or any other, Blind Uncle Harry never sounds like he’s feeling any pain. Let’s just put it that way.
As the album’s title suggests, Blind Uncle Harry shares an anti-establishment perspective with some other early pot popularizers, the hippies. For instance, three songs in, BUH expresses criticism of the uptight American way of life with “American Way.” It’s as though the days of peace, love and freedom never completely died. In his world, the battle to bring down American conservative values is still going on. It is, of course, but Harry is fighting it the way Woodstock attendees engaged with traditional morals, rather than the more contemporary woke social warriors of today.
This performer also shares some musical values with his hippie forefathers. Like them, Harry enjoys incorporating country, bluegrass and folk musical elements into his sound. He warbles his way through these songs and doesn’t sing like a typical Americana artist. Instead, he sings more like a rock artist, albeit over a mostly acoustic instrumental base.
The artist’s real name is Chris Doran, and is from Bloomington, Indiana. His website describes his style as an “avant-garde approach to recording” “Americana and folk-rock music,” which is an accurate way to frame his songs. Many of these tracks also feature a pretty female singer, and her lovely vocals add contrast to Harry’s more lo-fi, gruff approach. For instance, she sings the sweet “Fly Away,” which is a vocal showcase where she’s also accompanied by empathetic fiddle.
Not everything here can be categorized as protest music, however. One titled “Song For Kori,” for example, is Harry singing a gentle, heartfelt character study over nothing more than a finger-picked acoustic guitar. It’s a fine example of Harry’s range, as it finds him writing and performing in a far more reflective way.
Nevertheless, the album’s title, Visualize Industrial Collapse, sums up Harry’s philosophy well. The hippy aim was, in many respects, to imagine world peace. To picture a world without racism, hate and war. Harry takes this perspective one step further, though, by expanding this simple slogan to include an ending to the whole capitalistic economic system in the western world.
Another one, “Jesus Is Coming,” is a gospel-ish number of an entirely unique variety. It’s not clear from other tracks that Harry is any sort of Jesus freak. For instance, he doesn’t sing other Biblically inspired songs on the album. Nevertheless, Harry sings a song about the Christian theology of the rapture, which posits how Jesus will rapture His church during the end times. It’s sung with a choir of singers, and also includes a trumpet part running all the way through it. Then again, the Jesus People movement took place during the late ‘60s/early ‘70s and was driven by a bunch of Jesus-loving hippies. Therefore, it fits his artistic profile in that respect.
Blind Uncle Harry comes off as a lovable oddball, and if he’s promoting the destruction of society as we know it, it’s very much one gentle revolution.