Jessica Harper, better known in music circles as GeminiiDragon, is a scorching vocal talent from the murky bayou country of Louisiana. She hails from Thibodaux, along the banks of Bayou Lafourche. Thibodaux is a vibrant community and sister city to Houma, Louisiana, home of Swamp Blues icon Tab Benoit. With a dynamic, deep growl of a voice, GeminiiDragon has released her debut album, Fighting Fire With Fire, via Nepotism Recordings.
She’s been influenced by artists ranging from Koko Taylor, Nina Simone and Janis Joplin to Albert King, ZZ Top, Jimi Hendrix and Fleetwood Mac (She is a vocalist but loves her some guitar players). GeminiiDragon took those influences, and with the help of songwriting partner and guitarist Christian Simeon, created music that’s best described as blues on steroids.
Produced by The HATERZ and recorded at Beatrice Studios in Shreveport, Fighting Fire With Fire kicks off with the funky, rocking title track. It begins with the bass line, laid down by Danny Woolen on bass and Kash Carlsson on drums. Simeon’s screaming guitar comes in just before the grunting vocals of the lady herself. For a full minute the tension rises before GeminiiDragon’s vocals even out into a powerhouse delivery. Her voice beautifully fluctuates from lows to yipping highs in an onslaught that has the listener’s attention straight away.
It’s a rocking song that I have fun performing. It’s a story that I believe people will relate and connect to while they’re rocking. No one’s perfect, and we all reach a point where something just clicks. We decide then and there that we’re not gonna take, or deal with, or be a part of any more crap.
“Just the Way it Is” is another rocker with a feeling of badassery surrounding it. She even breaks into a female equivalent of “awhooo, hah hah hah” that sounds like ZZ Top meets John Lee Hooker, if they were both girl bands. It’s a nice twist that one doesn’t expect, but is happy when it does.
The third track is “Huh Huh Huh,” and that’s exactly how it starts out. It has the mesmerizing quality of Bentonia Blues, electrified and dipped in swamp water. The grungy guitar work is a nice backdrop to the chain gang rhythm, and GeminiiDragon’s vocals are creatively recreated so that she harmonizes with herself.
The intention of this album is to bring energy and fire back to the blues genre. It gets you movin’, gets you rockin’ but it’s still telling a great story. We’re using a lot of strong wordplay, so you’re able to see the story as well as hear it. My recommendation is if you need to get pumped up for whatever comes next, whatever that may be, press play on “Huh Huh Huh,” and don’t let nobody tell you nothin’.