Harry Harris
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Harry Harris

Band Folk Americana

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"Harry Harris Album Review"

Translated from Dutch

"Broken Yellow" was the title of my interest in British singer songwriters brought to the notice. This album from 2006 is in the name of Harry's brother Jack. "Broken Yellow" is, and certainly for a debut artist, a magnificent album. Made under the guidance of none other than American singer-songwriter Eric Taylor. It makes you sometimes wonder how they find each other. An ambitious novice artist from Oxford and a widely respected songwriter from Weimar, Texas. The answer is probably as simple as predictable, with the music.
Harry played - despite his very young - all along on Jack's album, and was now in a position to make his own album. A comparison between the brothers is possibly obvious, but is of course completely meaningless. They have each been promoted, complemented and influenced, and that they are possessed of an (almost) overwhelming passion for the muse is clear. My first impression of these guys is their sobriety. They both come from the countryside, but Harry London has been chosen as the base.
For his eponymous debut, he has received the support of Polly Paulusma. The instrumentation is, as often happens with new artists, kept simple. During scarcity occurs creativity and gratitude. Despite, and possibly more because of this scarcity is the right atmosphere strikingly displayed. Polly fill in a few songs with vocals. You hear graceful piano playing (Hannah Cott), a sompig present bass (Dave Mannington), an elegant cello (Laura Moody), and the variety of subtle percussion (Rastko Rasic) is nothing to sneeze at. She Can Build Me a River would be so may originate from an early Van Morrison period, moreover, without any further comparison with the gruff Irishman to withdraw. The association lies more in the music itself, which is fresh and relaxed, has something straightforward, something spring-like. In terms of voice I hear in some tracks an agreement with Tracy Chapman.
Harry Harris has for me a very successful album. Moreover, with only his own songs. Songs are extensions of traditional folk music. Universal atmospheric music, because the accents of British folk dominate at all. Sometimes I welcome such a tradition, but claims it does not. Harry has with this album his own musical ambition expressed, and displayed his talent undeniable. Fortunately, so he will not be pushed into the shadow of his older brother. A name for account-to-keep-it has made itself heard. It will be a matter of time when race artist gets picked up, but that will happen is clear to me. Mark my words! - Rein Van Den Berg


""Sunday @ The Stag Review, 11th November 2007""

Singer/songwriter sessions in pubs are often merely excuses for endless sensitive Nick Drake wannabes to play bedroom compositions to one another and a smattering of tolerant friends. Easy then to assume the one at the Stag entitled Jont the Naked Singer and Friends would be no exception and that, starting at three on a Sunday afternoon, it might be an over-ambitious attempt to lure people away from the ubiquitous televised football fare on offer elsewhere.

Jont actually turns out to be a long way from the bedsit songsmith stereotype, being an extremely accomplished singer with some quality material. A check on his myspace reveals he has already been all over the States performing what he describes as ‘unlit’ gigs and was also involved in last year’s BBC Electric Proms. He sports a Woody Guthrie homage on his guitar, ‘This Machine Makes Love’, and describes one song (The Way Home) as being inspired by Johnny Cash. While these icons may be his heroes, perhaps he has more in common musically with Damien Rice, particularly on Another Door Closes. Other highlights include a love song, possibly called Susanne, and an up-tempo number which should be called Let’s Rock.

Harry Harris was next up, a young Welsh singer with a loud folk/bluesy voice. His self-penned repertoire was also of a high standard, notably That Sinking Feeling and She Can Build Me A River, and his listening choices became apparent by his decision to cover Marc Cohn’s Walking in Memphis with its heavy Bruce Springsteen leaning.

Sadly this reviewer had to leave at this point but hopefully the session continued in such a positive vein. There was talk of a variety of other instrumentalists appearing later on to avoid an overdose of acoustic guitars. Maybe the afternoon should take note of the current popularity of burlesque and throw a couple of non-musical acts into the mix as well.

Simon Charterton
- The Fleet Local Newspaper


Discography

Driving Songs EP - Self released, 2006.
Middleton Street (Single) - Released 2009, played on The Acoustic Diner Podcast.

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Bio

I started performing when I was 16 and quickly recorded my debut EP "Driving Songs" on an 8 track recorder. The record is a musical experiment of sorts, with me playing all the instruments including guitar, mandolin, percussion and accordion. It attracted the attention of promoters from as far away as Norwich and also the One Little Indian Artist Polly Paulusma. In 2007 Polly produced by debut full length LP which is hopefully to be released this year. I have also opened for the likes of Newton Faulkner, Anais Mitchell and Devon Sproule and gained high praise from british folk songwriters Adem and Karine Polwart, as well as attracting the attention of Steve Rusby at Pure Records.

I am influenced by great storytellers and lyricists, especially Adam Duritz of Counting Crows, Craig Finn of The Hold Steady, Mark Oliver Everett of Eels, Sam Beam of Iron & Wine and, of course, Dylan and Springsteen. I believe that my songs pay homage to these fantastic artists, when I perform I try to do their influence justice and sing songs that they would be proud of.

I am still young but I hope to take this as far as I can, and am gigging frequently to increase my following around London.