Rochelle’s re-releasing ‘Hippie Blues’

Published 12:22 am Thursday, March 14, 2019

Andalusia native and musician Rochelle Harper said her hometown will always be a part of her soul.

“Andalusia will always be a part of me,” Harper said. “There are definitely times that I miss it. I go back every now and then because my cousin Marianne and I are very close. Andalusia is a where I am from, it is a part of my soul and I can’t help but think about Andalusia when I see boiled peanuts.”

Twenty years ago, Harper began her musical career after her father’s passing. Since then she has released CD’s and traveled across Europe with her band.

“So the story goes like this, my daddy was Robert Harper,” Harper said. “He started the Harper tribe in Andalusia. He met my mother when Harper Electric went to New Jersey to work on some power lines and he was working on a pole outside her window and it was love at first sight. They were married and moved back to Andalusia. The reason I got into music is a little deep and dark to some people, but in short, I never really accepted the fact that my dad was gone. I prayed to God and asked him to bring him back and I just kind of held on to his ghost until my 30th birthday.”

Harper’s musical journey began the winter of 1998, with a thrift shop guitar, after an interesting dream. 

“It was the winter of 1998 and my father’s mother just died,” Harper said. “I was at Lake Tahoe working so I couldn’t fly home. I remember her coming to me in a dream and when I woke up, I wrote my father’s eulogy and I laid him to rest in my heart, mind and soul. I had a thrift shop guitar that my mother got me because she always thought that I should be doing something with music. When I laid him to rest, I took the guitar out to the lake and I just found peace within music, which is now my mantra. I started writing songs, moved back to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and was in my own band within six months. We started playing six nights a week. Some say that it was late in life, but I say that it was right on time.”

Harper said that performing for her is more than just being on a stage.

“Performing is about the connection that you make with the audience,” Harper said. “For me, it is about the vortex, because I’m delivering a message. When I’m performing a song, the band and I connect and then the ones in the crowd that get the message connect with us and this energy just starts flowing and it transcends everything. You are just in this beautiful vibe and you connect with yourself most importantly and with other people.”

Right now, Harper is working on releasing a remastered version of her album Mississippi Hippie Blues, which was released originally in 2009.

“Remastering these songs really brings back memories of when I wrote these songs and the reasons I wrote them,” Harper said. “Our friend Daryll Brown who coproduced the album passed away unexpectedly in 2015, so it is bittersweet to listen back and think about all of the time we spent in the studio. I really enjoy the album and it is still very exciting to me to release it.”

Harper’s remastered Mississippi Hippie Blues will be available at several record stores in Muscle Shoals, on the Gulf Coast at LuLu’s and on her website at