ajharp

ajharp

BandFolkAcoustic

A harmonica-driven folk groove, incorporating elements of blues, bluegrass, jam, funk, and rock. Bluesy vocals and complex rhythms support intricate, very original songwriting. Live performances showcase stellar harmonica work.

Biography

Hailing from Philadelphia, ajharp is a combination of Adam Jenkins the singer-songwriter and "Harp" the harmonica guy, a nickname given Jenkins due to his passion for the instrument. As ajharp, Jenkins features bluesy vocals, a polyrhythmic guitar style, truly inspired harmonica playing, and a great percussion groove to support witty lyricism and intricate song composition. Live performances showcase these originals while including ajharp's take on a wide range of covers from old-timey traditionals to early 60's folk to late 60's rock to singer/songwriter 70's to late 70's rock to early 90's jam to late 90's alternative to current songwriters. With a one-of-a-kind dual harmonica stand and several percussion instruments under foot, you never know what an ajharp show will throw at you! For certain shows ajharp gains members, as well, with any combination of friends joining in on guitar, electric and acoustic mandolin, flute, Midi Wind-Controller, bass, drums and percussion, and keyboard.

Jenkins' songwriting shows influences ranging from Paul Simon and Neil Young to John Lee Hooker and Sam & Dave to The Grateful Dead and Blues Traveler. A strong flavor of the jam band genre is instilled in his live performances in the form of extended jams of both original tunes and covers. This is primarily where his unique style of harmonica playing shines. As Jenkins explains, "I love the freedom of musical expression that a live setting encourages, so I strive to capture each moment in a show to explore my music and take it to a higher level."

Originally a trumpet player for 7 years, Jenkins entered the band scene as a self-taught harmonica player. He joined several groups on harp and percussion during his high school years, the most notable being a folk trio named The Jaundice Café which performed throughout the Philadelphia suburbs. In TJC, Jenkins found his songwriting voice. He began learning the guitar to pursue his songwriting as well as to accompany his harmonica playing and follow in the footsteps of influences Bob Dylan and Neil Young. While at Amherst College, Jenkins co-founded several bands on guitar, vocals, and harmonica, while also sitting-in with numerous groups on harmonica, trumpet, and percussion. These experiences developed into ajharp, a one-man-jam incorporating all of Jenkins' musical leanings.

This depth of musical background extends into the studio, where Jenkins plays most of the instruments you'll hear while calling upon the skills and inspiration of many friends and past band mates to fill in the sound. ajharp released it's first full-length album, entitled "Eyes of a Child", in October, 2003. The project has 14 original tracks, 8 on which Jenkins is the sole instrumentalist and 6 that include one or more guest performances. The album features "fluid and innovative harmonica work", "very original use of percussion", and "several great vocal performances."

Visit ajharp's website at www.ajharp.com for recent news, dates of upcoming shows, song lyrics, mp3’s of live performances, past setlists, and more pictures. For booking and further details, contact Adam Jenkins at:

5 Morris Lane
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

610-256-2529
ajharp@jenkbiz.com

Lyrics

Harbor Fate

Written By: Adam Jenkins

Some call it miserly
Others call it shrewd
I prefer the term impolite
But then again I’m often called the unsuspecting fool
As the man in suit and tie walks behind my back
Keeps his knife in sheath and he just begins to laugh
Cause he knows that I’m no threat in fulfillment of his path
To the land where everything grows greener
And I realize that there is no escape
From that four letter word that I learned when I was eight
So I’ll pry and I try just to be the one who may
Make no mistake
Harbor Fate

Do you work as hard on your crossword
As you work on your enlightened mind?
And do you take delight in looking cross
At the man who offers hope with a warm and friendly smile?
As you work and you toil for what you think will in the end
Earn you lots of compliments and buy you honest friends
But such philanthropy is only an everlasting trend
In the loneliest of old gray castles
Still you continue to work a job you hate
But it looks good on paper and people think you’re great
You remember being young and foolish laughing at the rain
Make no mistake
Harbor Fate

Well, Helena’s Heart can sing so many rhymes
But nobody will ever get to hear them
Her mind takes the structure and turns it inside out
Sends her on her way with just a notebook and a pen
And her soul cries out loud to regain what it has lost
As her mind rubs its hands in glee and tallies up the cost
Of what it will gain through occurrence of the frost
That accompanies a futuristic winter
Still he writes out on her chalkboard slate
Those same words he scribbled out when he was only eight
Dear Helena, let’s go dance to your heart’s songs out in the rain
Make no mistake
Harbor Fate
Harbor Fate
Harbor Fate

Walkin' Alone

Written By: Adam Jenkins

Well it seems to me that that was the only night
When it was alright
Now we’re havin’ problems seeing the light
We’re feelin’ uptight

But now my dear
It is so clear
And I’ll have you know
I’m always here, whoa…
I’m always here

Yeah we’re havin’ problems we’re havin’ talks
We need to spend more time just takin’ walks
Yeah we feel frustrated we’re losin’ luck
We console ourselves with songs about how life sucks

But now my dear
It is so clear
And I’ll have you know
I’m always here, whoa…
I’m always here

But it’s no time to get excited
No time to do something rash
We need to take a walk all by ourselves
And enjoy a good look at the past
We need to laugh when we were lovers
And smile when we were friends
Speak no words about the future
Have only thoughts that start with begin
Let’s begin…

Let’s begin
To feel alright
Let’s begin
To never fight
Let’s begin
To take it light
Let’s begin…

Well it seems to me that each and every night
I’m feeling alright
Cause with you here right here within my sight
The present glides by so bright

And now my dear
It is so clear
And I’ll have you know
I’m always here, whoa…

I’m always here

Who?

Written By: Adam Jenkins

Who are you trying to save?
How many souls will your concrete pave?
When it rains you lose as many days
As the time you spend worrying about who to save.

Who are you trying to save?
Lose your eyes and your ears will replace.
Lose your mind and you might stand face to face
With the one soul that you have a chance to save.

Oh, Save me!
You could be the one.
Would you be the one?
And Oh, Save me!
‘Cause I’ve got it figured out
That I have not had it figured out
Since you came along.

Who are you trying to save?
Will this mission last a moment or a day?
Maybe sooner than the time allotted to your fate
When it turns out that you’re the only one you have to save

Oh, Save Me!
I could be the one.
Wish I were the one.
And Oh, Save Me!
‘Cause I’ve got it figured out
That I have not had it figured out
Since you came along.

Sunday comes, she’s back
Sunday comes, she’s back
Sunday comes, yeah, yeah she’s back

Who?
She’s back
Who?
She’s back
Who?
She’s back

Discography

"Eyes of a Child" LP (2003) - A 14 song studio effort, self-produced.

ajharp Sampler EP (2003) - A 6 track mix of live and in-studio performances.

Set List

A typical setlist would involve a 70/30 original to cover song ratio. Sets range from a 45 minute opening set to a 2 hour full set, or a 3+ hour show of two full sets. Original songs include the 14 titles from the "Eyes of a Child" LP as well as more than 20 originals ranging from ajharp's older catalog to his newest compositions. Cover songs include several traditional folk and blues tunes, multiple selections by Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, The Beatles, The Grateful Dead, and Phish, and single selections by solo artists from the early 1960's to today.

Eyes of a Child:
1. Harbor Fate
2. West?
3. Pearl of Wisdom
4. Look at all the Phonies
5. Walkin' Alone
6. Who?
7. Logic and Emotion
8. Test of Humanity
9. Sacred Journey
10. Clean Slate
11. Show Me The Way
12. The Middle Path
13. The Truth
14. I'm Listening...

Additonal originals:
Darlin' Please
California's Future
The Ring
If We Change
Sleepless
Just another song written on a stoop on a rainy midnigh