Andrea Harsell
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Andrea Harsell

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1999

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Established on Jan, 1999
Solo Americana Blues

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"Album Review - Andrea Harsell & Luna Roja "Something For the Pain""

“Something for the Pain, from her latest band, Andrea Harsell and Luna Roja, ...is worth the wait. I don't think there's a weak track on this record, but highlights include the boisterous BR549-flavored opener "Don't Do It" and "Hearts Were Made to Mend," which has a little bit of an Old 97's feel (Harsell opened for the 97's at the Top Hat recently). Something for the Pain definitely contains some pain mixed in with all the swagger. Harsell's strength is that she sings like a Bon Scott or a Joan Jett or a Janis Joplin, tending to the gritty elements of rock and roll, but she doesn't just rely on stylistic sheen. Her songs have a kind of genuine live-in depth that can't be faked.—Erika Frederickson, Missoula Independent - Missoula Independent


"Andrea Harsell & Luna Roja: Something for the Pain Missoula guitarist and songwriter melts the turntable with gritty, sensuous vocals"

Long-time Missoula guitarist and songwriter Andrea Harsell has a new album of originals out, lighting it up with a top-shelf trio called Luna Roja. It’s Antonio Alvarez, drums, Nicklaus Hamburg, lead guitar, and Mike Hendy, bass. Harsell plays rhythm guitar this time around, and melts the turntable with her gritty, sensuous vocals and impeccable control.

Guest musicians on some cuts include Harsell’s daughter, Leia Sky, background vocals, Stephen Inglis, lead guitar, and Carla Green, bass. Engineer Ryan “Schmed” Maynes adds guitar, keys, and bass, too.

The result is a terrific assortment of rock styles spotlighting searing guitar solos, crisp percussion, and lock-tight rhythms. The musician’s raw emotional delivery, in a seasoned, malleable alto that’s worldly-wise yet warm and sweet, endows her songs with honesty. She sings of heartache and loss, finding love and losing it, and just plain “don’t tread on me” sassiness.

Harsell dedicated the album to her sister, who passed away last summer. The title song reflects that loss. It’s a spooky rocker in a minor key with a pensive extended guitar solo; Harsell sings of “shadows and secrets” and “twisting fate.”

Reverbnation names Joan Jett, Bonnie Raitt, and KT Tunstall among Harsell’s influences. I hear others, too. On “Hard Times,” a blues ballad about a difficult relationship, Harsell shows a slight Rosanne-Cash country inflection that, as the song builds, transforms into a guttural Janis Joplin lament, raspy and powerful as emotion overtakes her. It’s cleansing and compelling. There’s a fiery guitar interlude, too. Yow!

On the swampy bayou rocker, “Singles,” Harsell finger-wags her way through a conversation as she sings “Slow down, I think you’re movin’ too fast …” She stretches out “around” on “I’ll be ‘arow-ow-ound,’” à la Amy Winehouse. I like it!

Influences have given Harsell’s voice many facets. What comes out is pure Andrea. And Luna Roja is the perfect complement, balancing her passion with their energy. Get this one! - Lively Times


"GET IT OR FORGET IT – RUSTY YOUNG, CALICO THE BAND, ANDREA HARSELL & LUNA ROJA"

Review: When we first moved to Missoula, Andrea Harsell was one of the first local indie artists we met. We have loved her solo material, but had not had a chance to see her perform with a full band until the recent Flathead Lake Blues and Music Festival. Her band, Luna Roja, gives her the dynamic edge she needed to add to her amazing voice and incredible songwriting chops. With the band, she adds a strong roots rock vibe to her bluesy songs, creating a sound that lifts the spirits and gets the toes first to tapping and then onto the dance floor. Their debut album is a fabulous collection of songs that should serve to elevate Harsell & Luna Roja into the elite ranks of great musical bands. We especially love “Oh Boy,” “Singing Angel (with its gentle reggae sound),” the title track, “Hush Little Baby,” and “Hard Times.” - Indie Voice Blog


"Songwriters to bluegrass to 'soul and roll': 2017 was a great year for Missoula music"

Harsell, a singer with a wide-ranging and gutsy voice, returns with a set of tunes that rock and swing. - Missoulian


"Montana Brewery Music Staples: Andrea Harsell"

Missoula’s Andrea Harsell will be performing in the Kalispell Brewing Company tasting room this Saturday, at 5:00 p.m. Don’t miss out on a great evening of music, and read on to find out what this terrific singer-songwriter is all about.

KBC: How long have you been playing and writing songs? How did you find your way into music?

AH: I’ve been writing songs since I was 5—silly little blues songs. At 23, I lived in Japan for a year on an internship and that was where I really started writing songs and playing guitar. My grandparents were both musicians, as is my father. Music was always in the house. My Dad was a radio DJ and I had a turntable in my room. Music has always played a big part in our lives. I learned piano from my Grandma from age 5. I played saxophone and bass in grade school and some high school. At 18, I had a guy come up to me while I was playing basketball with my dad and he said to me, “You’re going to be famous someday! Do you sing?”It kinda freaked me out at first but he was a nice old fella who hooked me up with some musicians and in no time I had my first band. My first gig was wearing purple wranglers and a Bull Riders Only T-shirt, playing the Western Montana Fair. I’ve come a long way. Haha.

KBC: How many Montana breweries do you estimate you have performed at?

AH: 20? It is such a blessing to be able to play breweries. The early hours and family friendly environments have been really necessary as a single mom. My kids are older now so I can travel more. I love when they join me on stage and at the gigs, because we all enjoy the music and environment together.

KBC: What would you say it is about the brewery setting that works so well for your music?

AH: I love that the crowd is older; generally as my target audience is 35+. The patrons in microbreweries are a great listening audience and are there to relax with their friends and families, making for a friendly, relaxed, and happy atmosphere. I’ve never seen a belligerent drunk or a bar fight at a brewery. They genuinely enjoy the original music. They show their appreciation through tips and purchasing my cds. It’s an energy exchange that always leaves me feeling so blessed that this is my job. I make people happy and they make me happy. Pretty great, right?

KBC: How do you describe your sound? What influences you?

AH: I have a stomp box I built five years ago that I stand on—the world’s smallest stage. Haha. It gives the music a backbeat that people can feel. Little ones especially tune in to that and come up and start stomping and dancing along with me. It’s great! My music spans the American roots genre pretty thoroughly. Blues, bluegrass, country, folk, and rock. I am influenced by Bonnie Raitt, Janis Joplin, Alison Krauss, Susan Tedeschi, and Joan Jett to name a few. I have a new band, Luna Roja, that are taking my songs to the next level. It’s a blast! Playing solo takes me back to my roots. As a songwriter I can change up the song from one time to the next and do whatever I want. I can get lost in it all in the best way imaginable. I like those quiet moments where it’s one voice, one guitar, tapping into the message and sending it with wild abandon.

KBC: What music have you been enjoying lately?

AH: Tonight I am going to the Tedeschi Trucks Band concert at the new Kettlehouse Ampitheater in Bonner, just East of Missoula. I’ve been waiting for this band to come through for years so I am super excited!! On my turntable right now is Don Williams. I love his music. I listen to a lot of Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday. These jazz greats are my go to. My Mom introduced me to these incredible jazz singers at a young age; my Dad is all rock and roll. I embody the spirit of both. New music wise, I love Nahko and Medicine for the People. The world is incredibly sick right now and his music is so healing. I’m pushing myself to write more songs that speak to the collective in a more broad and powerful, meaningful way beyond heartache and loss. - Missoulian


"Wild Flavor"

WildFlavor

Andrea Harsell
Featured Entertainment

From her home base in the beautiful mountains of Western Montana, Andrea Harsell has been bringing her vibrant performing style and exceptional songwriting to audiences around the country for more than 20 years. With a powerful, supple voice and outstanding original songs, Harsell is more than just a major talent—she’s a force of nature. Blending styles of American roots music like blues, country, bluegrass, rock and folk, each original song illuminates topics of love, simple living and social issues. Joined on stage by her 15-year-old daughter Leia Sky on fiddle and vocals, this dynamic family duo sings sweet harmonies weaving musical magic that can only come from that unique gift of a deep emotional bond expressed through the universal language of love and music. - Paws Up


"Andrea Harsell's Music Offers Something For The Pain"

Missoula recording artist Andrea Harsell is in the spotlight to discuss her album, “Something For The Pain,” and the ways she’s carved out a unique niche in the Montana music scene.

Join host John Floridis as he chats with singer-songwriter Andrea Harsell in this encore episode of "Musician's Spotlight."

(Broadcast: "Musician's Spotlight," 09/14/17 and 1/4/18. Listen on the radio Thursdays, 7:30 p.m., or via podcast.) - Montana Public Radio


"Born To Play - Andrea Harsell Finds Her Way with Rock and Roll Love Child"

For several months, Andrea Harsell had only a chorus. She'd sing, "Oooooh lemonade, I gotta find my way home," but she couldn't get past that one bluesy minor key line, couldn't turn it into a full-fledged song with verses. The local singer-songwriter let it simmer. She'd sit down to write other tracks, settling into a guitar riff, letting the words spill out. But the lemonade song haunted her. .... - Missoula Independent


"Terms of success: Missoula singer-songwriter Andrea Harsell is exploring what it takes to have it all"

Andrea Harsell picks her New Year's resolutions like she writes her songs. She doesn't dictate what they're supposed to be; they come to her just as they are.

For six months, the Missoula singer-songwriter has been amping up her music career; not with obvious things like hiring a publicist, buying a lot of expensive equipment and auditioning drummers, but with a deep and steady personal resolve.

Harsell's resolution, or motto as she puts it, for 2007 was, "Accept the Challenge," part of which included participating in two triathlons and revving up her musical ambitions.

"It pushed me to get over some of my fears, to take on things like a bulldozer," Harsell says of her '07 motto. "I would think, 'Oh, I can't do that, it's too big, too much,' but you have to commit to it, to work hard for it."

Harsell's 2008 motto or resolution is a combination of the last two years and more.

Harsell's resolution for 2008 is "Create The Eight."

Eight what?

"Harmony and balance, courage, generosity," Harsell said. "Happiness, wisdom, cleanliness and beauty."

The throaty diva of Nine Pound Hammer and The Andrea Harsell Experiment knows she'll need to work for all of those to create the musical life she wants in Missoula and beyond. - Missoulian


"Andrea Harsell & Luna Roja Something For The Pain (Self-Released)"

Missoula Montana based singer songwriter Andrea Harsell penned twelve new songs for her new album Something For the Pain, released in September of 2017, that reflect the character of her home town. Missoula is at a crossroads between
the mountains and the great plains: a college town in ranch and reservation land
that harbors a mix of progressive intellectualism and traditional ideals. Harsell and her backing trio Luna Roja, featuring drummer Antonio Alvarez, guitarist Nick Hamburg, and bassist Michael Rhead, nimbly bridge the musical landscape from jazzy blues to country, rock, R&B and folk with a western edge and a rough and ready spirit. Opening track, “Don’t Do It,” is a honky tonk rocker with tongue twisting a lyric about being in love with a bad boy. The dance floor remains full for the snappy Northern Soul bopper “Oh Boy,’ with Harsell deftly shifting her vocal from alluring coquette to blistering rocker. The grooving continues with the heavy R&B track “Singles,” that features great riffing from Hamburg. Harsell then leads on acoustic guitar for the island tinged lament “Singing Angel,” and the straight ahead rocking title track. Producer/Engineer Ryan “Shmed,” Maynes adds some old-time tack piano to the robust blues shuffle “Hush Little Baby.” Foot stomping blues rocker “Teenage
Girl,” draws comparisons to Janis Joplin and Melisa Etheridge. The high lonesome blues “Hard Times,” gives Harsell plenty of room to stretch out vocally and emotionally. The crew get as close to traditional country as they dare on the rousing “Hearts Were Made To Mend,” followed by the sweet torch and twang love song “Like We Used To Do.” She then faces her demons head on for the anthem of self-empowerment “Medicine and Chains.” The sweet swinging album closer “Born In The Valley, “ feels like a bonus track with Harsell crooning alongside the upright
bass of Carla Green on a long lost French cabaret number.
Rick J Bowen - Washington Blues Society


Discography

2018 - Missoula To Memphis (Compilation) - Switchback Records
2017 - Something For The Pain - Andrea Harsell & Luna Roja - Self-Released
2015 - Holiday (Single) - Self Released
2009 - Rock and Roll Love Child - Self Released
2003 - Andrea Harsell LIVE 03.13.03 - Broadcast on KBGA 89.9FM on the World Wide Web - Self Released

1999 - Nine Pound Hammer - Self Released 

Photos

Bio

From her home base in the beautiful mountains of Western Montana to the pacific isles, Andrea Harsell has been bringing her vibrant performing style and exceptional songwriting to audiences around the globe for over twenty years. With a powerful, supple voice and a passel of outstanding original songs, Andrea is more than just a major talent—she’s a force of nature.

Ms. Harsell’s fourth release since 2000's 'Nine Pound Hammer', her latest album, 'Something For the Pain" (Sept. 2017) is comprised of 12 Harsell penned original songs spanning American roots music from jazz to country. Andrea’s magnetic stage presence and unique songwriting is supported on this effort by Luna Roja, stalwarts who know their craft with larger than life personalities of their own. Filled with songs about the human experience, social issues, love and love lost, the show is high energy and feels good. Come on and feel good!

"…..a terrific assortment of rock styles spotlighting searing guitar solos, crisp percussion, and lock-tight rhythms. The musician’s raw emotional delivery, in a seasoned, malleable alto that’s worldly-wise yet warm and sweet, endows her songs with honesty. She sings of heartache and loss, finding love and losing it, and just plain “don’t tread on me” sassiness.”  - Mariss McTucker, The Lively Times

"I don't think there's a weak track on this record, but highlights include the boisterous BR549-flavored opener "Don't Do It" and "Hearts Were Made to Mend," which has a little bit of an Old 97's feel (Harsell opened for the 97's at the Top Hat recently). Something for the Pain definitely contains some pain mixed in with all the swagger. Harsell's strength is that she sings like a Bon Scott or a Joan Jett or a Janis Joplin, tending to the gritty elements of rock and roll, but she doesn't just rely on stylistic sheen. Her songs have a kind of genuine live-in depth that can't be faked.” - Erika Frederickson, The Missoula Independent 

With a 2017 nomination for Best Blues Band and Best CD (Group) in the LA Music Critic Awards, the album is gaining traction on multiple radio formats.

Notable Events and Venues Played:

Telluride Bluegrass Festival (2nd Place in Band Competition 2000)

Wilma Theater - Missoula, MT

Top Hat Lounge - Missoula, MT

Date Event Center - Hokkaido, Japan

Anna Bananas - Honolulu, HI

The Lava Shack - Pahoa, HI

The New Daisy Theater - Memphis, TN

Silver Cloud Campout Festival - Haugen, MT

Aber Day Kegger Festival - Polson, MT

Flathead Lake Blues Festival - Polson, MT

Hot Springs Blues Festival - Hot Springs, MT

Love Your Mother Earth Festival - Montana

Missoula Hempfest - Missoula, MT

Notable Artists Andrea Has Shared the Stage With:

Big Brother and the Holding Company  • Jackson Browne • Michelle Shocked • Tim O’Brien & Darrell Scott • Tony Furtado • Peter Rowan and Crucial Country • Susan Tedeschi • David Grisman Quintet • Béla Fleck & the Flecktones • John Cowan Band • Nickel Creek • Lonesome River Band • Bruce Hornsby and Béla Fleck • The Jerry Douglas Band • Longview • Tim O’Brien and the Crossing • The Sam Bush Band • Leftover Salmon • Churchstreet • Yonder Mountain String Band • Seldom Scene • Jesse Winchester • Natalie Merchant • Mary Chapin Carpenter • Bruce Hornsby • Bonnie Raitt  • Backbone (Bill Kreutzmann of the Grateful Dead)  • Steven Inglis (Slacking on Dylan & Cut the Dead Some Slack) • Old 97’s • The Wailers  • Hal Ketchum  • Fishbone • Avett Brothers • Koffin Kats • The Lil’ Smokies • The Shook Twins • Papa Mali • Warsaw Poland Bros  • Mission Mountain Wood Band

Recently relocated to Oahu, Hawaii, Andrea is focused on songwriting; exploring new genres, and pushing boundaries with a renewed sense of self and the world around her. As art imitates life, the best is yet to come. 

Band Members