Jason Harrod
Gig Seeker Pro

Jason Harrod

New York City, New York, United States

New York City, New York, United States
Band Americana Acoustic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Scott Alarik, Boston Globe"

"What makes his songs so compelling is their emotional eloquence." - Boston Globe

"Allmusic guide"

Jason Harrod began his folk music career as the Southern half of the singer/songwriter duo Harrod & Funck. Harrod, who was raised in North Carolina, began playing with Chicagoan Brian Funck while both were students at Wheaton College in Illinois. The distinctive blend of their atmospheric acoustic guitar styles soon caught the attention of Christian folk legend Mark Heard, who produced their 1992 debut Dreams of the Color Blind for his Heated Brick label. A year later, the duo moved to Boston where they struggled to carve a niche for themselves in the competitive folk scene. They released two more albums together: the eponymous 1997 sophomore effort Harrod and Funck, and a 1998 Live set. But when Funck left for Los Angeles to pursue a career as a film editor, Harrod launched a solo career that allowed him to indulge his Southern and traditional folk influences more freely without abandoning the contemporary folk sound that characterized the Harrod & Funck albums. In April of 2000, Harrod won first place in the bluegrass category of the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. Widely respected folksinger Gillian Welch, a previous contest winner, was among the judges. Less than a month later, Harrod released his first solo album, Living in Skin. - allmusic.com

"Paste Magazine"

Formerly of acclaimed, Boston-based folk duo Harrod and Funck, singer/songwriter Jason Harrod's second solo record finds the North Carolina native eschewing his scrappier tendencies in favor of dark, smoky blues-rock. Harrod's estimable debut, Living In Skin, consists mostly of half-growled acoustic folk songs; its follow-up, Bright As You sees Harrod's throaty mumbles infused with barstool melancholy, his songs ranging from horn-heavy lounge laments ("Voyeurs") to Springsteen-inspired leg-shakers ("Mad Girlfriend"). Harrod doesn't seem particularly concerned with thwarting time-tested blues-rock formula, but his interpretations are expert and periodically inspiring. Lyrically, Harrod can be a little goofy (in "Kickin' Mule", he'll be your "funky fresh fella"), but earnest laments like the Christian-tinged "Messed Up Everywhere Blues" (which follows the narrator's desperate physical and emotional roaming) ultimately pont to genuine catharsis. - Amanda Petrusich - Paste Magazine

"Jason Harrod - Bright As You"

ith the release of "Bright as You," his second solo effort, Jason Harrod has clearly come into his own as a songwriter and as a musician. The album is a sweeping landscape of shadows and light, with richly textured melodies capturing moments of sorrow and exuberance. On "Messed Up Everywhere Blues," which isn't a blues song at all, Harrod in his raspy tenor one-ups just about every other song of lost love when he sings:
Jason Harrod - bright as you

When you were a girl I loved your smooth, smooth skin
And I praised the author of your eyes
But you don't love me now, just like you didn't love me then
And I want to kiss your worry lines

Unlike other folksy singer-songwriter types, though, Harrod is not one to get mired in the depths of woe to the point of self-indulgence. In "Good Night Sunshine" he breaks the spell of despondency: "I'm a messed up man, but I'm full of love." In "Kickin Mule," he leaps to the height of bravado, rocking it out with Southern-fried goodness :

I'll be the go-to man
on the final play
'cross the U.S.A.
I'll be cruel and unusual
for a limited time
Better watch your back
better watch your mind
'Cause I'm a kickin mule

Other songs on the album range from the jazz-inflected ("Voyeurs") to the Beatlesque ("Bright as You"), but they all retain Harrod's signature phrasing, deft guitar work, and poetic lyrics. Producer Phil Madeira and a raft of studio musicians round out the sound with some top-notch session work.

In the interest of full disclosure and all that, I suppose I should mention that Jason is a friend of mine. So, I might be a little biased.
Free Songs

Jason Harrod's new album is fantastic. But don't take my word for it. Jason has given me permission to offer the full version of two songs. Download them here, have a listen, and then let me know what you think.

- English Rules

"Jason Harrod - Living In Skin"

Now based in his hometown of Durham, North Carolina, Jason Harrod released his first solo CD, Living in Skin, in 2000. As half of the duo of Harrod & Funck, Jason attracted Mark Heard's attention and production assistance before building a national following from the initial base the pair developed as street musicians in Boston. This new project showcases Jason's characteristic unique tenor voice, memorable songwriting and creative guitar work to haunting effect. Lovingly made, gently augmented by carefully chosen tasteful acoustic instrumentation, Living in Skin features a crisp often country inflected folksy sound that is a fine complement to Jason's thoughtful and tender lyrics. - Indie CD reviews

"Living in Skin - Jason Harrod"

Each morning for the last week or so, I’ve woken up with a different song from this album in my head, and it’s stayed there all day -- until I go to sleep and wake up with a new song of the day.

Blame it on spring fever. With the sun shining and the snow melting outside my office window, I find myself turning to Living in Skin time and time again -- because it’s the epitome of spring fever. It’s love and yearning and thoughtfulness and hope and faith and listlessness -- all wrapped up in a nine-song CD.

Jason Harrod’s musical talent and diversity never cease to amaze me. I’ve followed his work since he began as half of the duo, Harrod and Funck, and it just keeps getting better. His lyrics are honest and meaningful, and he’s got an easy-going, foot-tapping folksy style that will make you feel like you’re on a drive through the country on a sunny Sunday afternoon -- even if you’re trapped in the office on a cloudy morning.

For samples of the songs on the album (I highly recommend “Siren Song”), check out Jason’s web site at http://www.jasonharrod.com. And, while you’re there, be sure to check out his concert schedule for upcoming dates. - Nights and Weekends

"Jason Harrod - Bright As You"

Well, it ain't American Idol, but then Jason Harrod is no Clay Aiken. So while the Chris Austin Songwriting Award doesn't hold the promise of big recording contracts and televised specials, it also has the prestige of being something Milli Vanilli never accomplished (as opposed to going platinum or winning a Grammy). Harrod won that annual Merlefest songwriting award in 2000, the same year as Tift Merritt (who now also has a chance at a Grammy), and he followed it up by winning the N.C. Songwriting Co-op's annual award, then releasing his solo debut, Living In Skin. Yeah, so, that was four years ago, what have you done lately?

"It kind of took me a while to find my feet as a solo artist. And it took me a while to get the money together, frankly," Harrod admits.

Ah, the life of a working artist.

Harrod began his musical career as half of the popular folk duo, Harrod & Funck, during the early nineties. When his partner, Brian Funck headed out to Hollywood to pursue film-editing work in 1998, Harrod went solo. (Funck now works on the popular cable show American Chopper.) He took the opportunity to stray a little further from folk's rigid constraints, explore more of his country roots, and return home to Durham from Boston.

Now Harrod's finished work on his second album, Bright As You, a 10-song, 50-minute affair for which he's looking for distribution. Until then he'll be selling it at shows and from his website ( www.jasonharrod.com).

The album was recorded in Nashville with Phil Madera, a noted session player from Buddy Miller's band, who has recently started getting into production. Madera pulled together some amazing session players, according to Harrod, and he's ecstatic about the finished product, which local producer John Plymale helped mix.

"It's a little bit different, one song ("Voyeurs") is straight up jazz. Other than that, it's a little more bluesy and rocky than my last one, though I always have a country edge to what I do," Harrod says. "There's an underlying theme of light and dark, starting with the album opener, 'The Sun is Up,' and ending with a song called 'Goodnight Sunshine.' There's a song, 'Voyeurs,' about looking in people's windows at night, and there's another called 'Night Follow Me,' so there is a lot of light and dark imagery." - indyweek.com

"Jason Harrod - Living In Skin"

They say good things come in small packages. This is proven to be true when it comes to the debut album Living In Skin by Jason Harrod.

A stripped-down, acoustic-folk album, with warm tones, intelligent lyrics, and very versatile vocals, this 9-song disc should please fans of Pierce Pettis, Bruce Cockburn, and similar artists.

The opening track, "Siren Song," is a very powerful song that sets the tone for the rest of the album, which has themes of travel, and being away from home, and the longing one feels when they'be been away for a while. The songs speak of all the things that can go along with traveling. Hopefulness, longing, starting over again, missing home and those you left behind. There are hints of all of those on this album.

Jason Harrod has been playing guitar since he was a teenager, and his skills shine through on this album. One of the tracks on the CD, "Powderhouse Rag," is an instrumental piece which showcases Harrod's playing very nicely.

For those who like a bit of bluegrass mixed in with their acoustic folk, the song "When I Get Home" is a real treat. This song won first place in April of 2000 at a songwriting contest that was judged by Gillian Welch and John Hartford.

"Siren Song" is a personal favorite - a bit more folk-rock than the rest of the album. Harrod brings in bass, drums, and some extra guitars, and sets the bar pretty high. The rest of the album pales in comparison to it, at least musically, but lyrically, the album is very solid. Placing this song at the front of the CD was a smart choice - it grabs the listener's attention and holds it - and then leaves them wanting more. Harrod delivers nicely throughout the whole album.

Prior to making this cd, while in college, Jason was in a duo with Brian Funck. Harrod & Funck began by writing together and recording demos. After opening for Brooks Williams, Williams gave a demo to Mark Heard's manager. Eventually, Mark Heard called them up and asked them to do a record with him. Heard liked their sound and said they sounded like "Simon and Garfunkel on drugs."

They drove from Chicago to LA to record their debut album, Dreams of the Colorblind. Later on, they moved to Boston, recorded two more albums, achieved some fame on college radio but in 1998, they parted ways. Harrod moved back to North Carolina, where he has been ever since. He released Living in Skin in 2000.

Living in Skin is a slight departure from the sound of Harrod & Funck, and it is a solid-sounding acoustic- folk album. Stripped down, but still new and fresh even after repeated listenings, this disc stands the test of time. - Phantom Tollbooth

"The Music of Jason Harrod"

The Music of Jason Harrod
What singer-songwriter Jason Harrod does best is turn daily moments numinous. Quite simply, Harrod's imagination is for this world; he finds deep secrets in ordinary places. Harrod got his start in the Boston duo Harrod and Funck, who've been compared to greats like Bruce Cockburn, Pierce Pettis, and the late Mark Heard (who produced their first album). Harrod launched his solo career in 2000 with Living in Skin, an album that goes back to the Southern strains and bluegrass nimbus of his home in North Carolina--where, incidentally, he won first place in the bluegrass category of the Chris Austin Songwriting competition at the annual MerleFest in Wilkesboro, an honor formerly held by roots-music luminary Gillian Welch. Living in Skin features that award-winning song as well as eight haunting others. His phrases, full of lilt, full of tune, catch somewhere below the surface to re-emerge long after the disk is back in its case. For the $13.95 Paste charges, let yourself be haunted. - ImageJournal.org

"Jason Harrod"

"How do you describe Jason Harrod? His voice has that coarse, heartbroken timbre that made me think back to Willis Alan Ramsey as he played O Come O Come Emmanuel." - www.christmasreviews.com


Bright As You, 2007

Living In Skin, 2002

Live (with Harrod and Funck), 1998

Harrod and Funck (self-titled LP), 1997

Dreams of the Colorblind (with Harrod and Funck), 1993



Jason Harrod draws from the best traditions of American music to create a sound all his own. His songs about lost love, found joys, and spiritual longing have garnered him a loyal following across the country.

Harrod’s latest release, Bright As You, finds him backed by a crack group of musicians featuring Phil Madeira (Emmylou Harris, Buddy Miller, Al Green, Mavis Staples). The songs, sung in a rich, brooding tenor and underscored by inventive guitar work, range from the Beatle-esque "Bright As You" to the blues-infused “Night, Fall On Me,” to the dark, ambient lament “Messed Up Everywhere Blues,” which appeared in the 2007 film "The Wager," starring Randy Travis.

After releasing 3 albums to critical acclaim as half of the folk-pop duo Harrod and Funck, Jason ventured out on his own. In 2000, he won first place in the bluegrass category of MerleFest’s Chris Austin Songwriting competition, an honor held by Grammy Nominees Tift Merrit and Gillian Welch. He followed that up with a first place win in the 2001 North Carolina Songwriters Co-op contest and in 2002 appeared on the Legendary Arthur Smith’s “Carolina Calling” television show along with Alison Krauss and Union Station. In 2005, Jason performed at the International Bluegrass Music Association's (IMBA) annual gathering as part of an emerging artist showcase. This year (2009), he was selected for a spotlight performance at the annual Healdsburg Guitar fetival sponsored by Acoustic Guitar magazine.

Jason was recently the recipient of a Lincoln City
Fellowship for songwriting and also was named a fellow of New York’s International
Arts Movement.

Living in Skin, Jason’s acoustic-based first album, features the award-winning song “Carolina,” which is a mainstay on NPR's "Back Porch Music," and "Siren Song," which was featured on the very first Paste Magazine Music Sampler.