Harrier Angel

Harrier Angel

BandRockAlternative

"Harrier Angel" is a bona fide old time rock musical that makes an amazing rock concert and lets us concentrate on lean, mean, and punching the lights ON, and sweeping the cobwebs out of the corners of tranced out zombidom.

Biography

"HARRIER ANGEL" differs from other music acts through strong theatrical sensibilities and an existing socio political romance that unifies the range of musical styles in the score. From rock, psychedelic, and pop to country, cabaret, and rhythm and blues — and with all music and lyrics by the producer (www.nine3.com), the band resembles The Alan Parsons Project. The band is composed ad hoc according to the requirements of individual performances.

HARRIER ANGEL's music is driven by the dramaturgical motive to excite a narrative arc, with songs and voicings organic to character and circumstances, thus the range of styles is broad albeit unified by the poetic voice of a single author. There is something for everyone, with the best-selling track a new setting of the American classic, "Red River Valley." This piece has enjoyed literally hundreds of thousands of downloads (if I had a nickel for every download . . . ; ) and performances that have brought the song to weddings and funerals and everything in between.

(This version of "Red River Valley" is true to the original, but since the original has no refrain, chorus or bridge but only a lovely, repeating melody in three short verses, our version is more complete and satifying. Because the original has an unknown author, and Cass is the author of this version, searches on the internet and placement in databases may have resulted in Cass being the only author ever credited. Anyway, whenever the search string "who wrote Red River Valley" is entered, the visitor will more than likely end up on the Red River Valley page at nine3.com)

HARRIER ANGEL commands an authentic American rock voice and delivers a compelling sound that to some may suggest a blend of influences from Kurt Weill to Kurt Cobain, shifting organically through the moods of voices like The Eagles and Jacques Brel.

The show, or any segment of it, can be performed in an acoustic or electrified set, with as few as 4 performers, or as many as 11+, as needed. In this respect, the organization resembles "The Alan Parsons Project" as the vision of a single poet executed by artists cast in their roles as needed for specific performances. Von Braun herself even performs a set from the show with a trio, a fact which should give a sense of the project's scalability.

Taking a BFA in Comparative Literature and Music at Stephens College in the 1970s, Von Braun returned briefly to her birthplace in Oregon, and lived and worked in Portland for a little over a year before moving to Boston. Her career has progressed steadily on two tracks, both as a creative services professional and a writer of songs and shows the club and cabaret scene, concert hall and musical stage.

Kudos have come from fans like Rob Mounsey, who works with Paul Simon and many other top national and international acts, and producers like Scott Billington of Rounder Records, who said, "This is a very nice album. I enjoyed it tremendously. Ten years ago we could have done something with this, just as it is, but today you would need a marketing plan and a tour schedule before we could sign it." Without a partnership ownership of the business and the material like most bands enjoy, we need to right-size every effort and focus carefully to make the most of our material and move forward.

Lyrics

It Had To Be You

Written By: Cass von Braun

There are times when flame is less intense
Than what is in the heart
And a masterpiece cannot compel a chain
So who was it who saved me
When I'd nothing left to do
Then sent me on my way again?
It had to be you

But a one night stand's no masterpiece
Not even if you fly
You've got to frame it in a life
And test and question why
Or so that's what my mama said —
It's a fool who gives love to . . . m-m-m-n!
The one who makes the senses quake
By shooting the moon
And it had to be you

So who was that wondering how best to choose
The word that would tantalize?
I could not help but feel there was nothing worth more than the prize
To breathe your scent, touch your face
And gaze into your eyes

A force of habit chained my mind
With rancorous device
A deathly method in between
Nuance, truth and lies
I prayed there must be some way free
But didn't have a clue
And who was it who let me see?
It had to be you
Well, it had to be you

And if they say I must forget about that
Pretend I don't know its worth
They might as well whip me and wrap me in fire
Run me through and let my blood spill
Back into the earth

'Cause that night was a masterpiece
And you have made a change
I came out of that prison
My veins were rearranged
Stay with me now, forever,
I cried, and let's be true
And who just smiled -- impossible?
It had to be you
Well, it had to be you

If mountains could run and rivers soar
Like song streaming through the air
It would not bring me greater joy
Than passing through that door
To hold you in my arms and rock you
With my love once more

Discography

HARRIER ANGEL is available from as a CD, complete with all lyrics and a free poster and choice of t-shirt transfer. Samples of all the tracks stream from nine3.com as well as CDBaby, Clear Channel, Texas Radio KBSO 94.7, myspace.com/harrierangel -- and many other outlets. Tracks from the album are:

Overture
Take Me For a Drive
Do I Love You
Sherlock Jones
Angeline
It Had To Be You
Wisteria
One Thin Dime
To Here
Gulfport
Give In To It
Boney Boney
Bad Dream on Easy Street
Naomi
Red River Valley (practice track and lead sheets available for those wishing to learn this new setting that incorporates the traditional version)
Harrier Angel

Other recordings include an EP called FIN DEMONIUM RAZZ, available in a limited edition, with tracks streaming from the page at
http://www.nine3.com/RAZZopener.html

One of the most popularly downloaded songs from nine3.com is "Duncan's Song," streaming at
http://www.nine3.com/duncan.html

"Duncan's Song" experienced a sudden spike in downloads as of June 1, 2006. Perhaps this is because it is about the universal soldier in a non-partisan anti-war song that everyone can appreciate no matter what their politics.

Practice tracks and lead sheets for "Duncan's Song" are also available, in response to popular demand of visitors wishing to learn and perform this piece.

Works in progress include "Upside Downstairs -- a Cambridge comedy of manners"
with composers John Sarkissian and RJ Mooney have streaming tracks on-line, as well, listed below and available on line at
http://www.nine3.com/productions

Galadrial's Aria
I Heard
Fada
Pieces of One
Falling For You
The Chain

Set List

4 or 5 songs per set.

If 1 set is played:

Harrier Angel
It Had To Be You
Give In To It
[ Take Me For a Drive / Do I Love You ] -- swings out if time is constrained to < 20 minutes.
Red River Valley

A one set commitment like the above example, is effective as an acoustic set or an electrified set, and can be given with 4 or 5 performers.

The sixteen songs of the complete show break down to three 20-minute sets that correspond with the three acts of the narrative. The piece delivers a rising arc, a climax and denouement that is exciting and deeply satisfying.

Set 1
Overture
Take Me For a Drive
Do I Love You
Sherlock Jones
Angeline
It Had To Be You

Set 2
Wisteria
One Thin Dime
To Here
Gulfport
Give In To It

Set 3
Boney Boney
Bad Dream on Easy Street
Naomi
Red River Valley
Harrier Angel