Liquid Harvest
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Liquid Harvest

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"Getting on Grammy"

Getting on Grammy
ballot may give
city band a boost

Dan LeRoy
For the Daily Mail

Thursday November 10, 2005

Guitarist Rick Perdue admits it: When he and his band, Liquid Harvest, discovered they'd been added to the official 2006 Grammy ballot, "we were like giddy little schoolgirls."
Not because they harbor any fantasies about taking the podium at next year's Grammies -- or even being invited.
Liquid Harvest is on the ballot in seven different categories, but in most of them, the group is competing with hundreds of other acts for the honor of becoming an official Grammy nominee.
Yet just making the ballot can make a big difference for a relatively new act like Liquid Harvest, a Charleston-based jam band that still plays most of its gigs close to home. It can mean more attention and respect from venues, promoters and the media. Heck, it can even mean more stories like this one.
"I hate to say it, but it lets us charge more (for gigs)," says Perdue, 25, from his day job at a cell phone accessories kiosk in the Town Center Mall. "With the price of gas what it is, we have to charge a certain amount just to make it feasible to play out of state."
Liquid Harvest was nominated for the ballot by its management, the Providence, R.I.-based Big Noise, an independent A&R firm that is a voting and nominating member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. The Academy oversees the Grammies, but Big Noise founder Al Gomes says every artist proposed for the Grammy ballot isn't automatically accepted.
"The Academy throws out 90 percent of what they receive. They listen to everything," says Gomes, who notes that many acts are tossed because they don't meet eligibility requirements or fit in the genre submitted.
"For the Liquid Harvest guys to get through the committee is huge," he said.
Big Noise has worked with multi-platinum acts such as Christina Aguilera and Chicago, but the company also represents a variety of lesser-known artists. And Gomes says Big Noise has had good luck in placing its clients on the ballot -- from teenaged country star Billy Gilman to newer bands such as Liquid Harvest -- because "we're really discreet in who we submit."
Perdue and his bandmates have gotten a kick out of the unlikelihood of their nominations in Best New Artist, Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, and Record of the Year -- where they're rubbing elbows, from however afar, with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and Santana.
In another funny, albeit alphabetical, twist, teen pop star Lindsay Lohan "is listed right after us in just about every category."
But while Perdue, bassist/vocalist Chris King, drummer Luke Mitchell, guitarist/vocalist Patrick Turley and percussionist T.J. King "fully do not expect to be nominated," the band does like its odds a little better in the Best Rock Instrumental category.
There, Liquid Harvest and its song "Umbrella" are up against only 40 or so other artists. Granted, some of them are industry heavyweights like former Police drummer Stewart Copeland and guitarist Steve Vai, but Gomes insists the band has a shot.
"About two-thirds of the bands are in the same category as Liquid Harvest -- you've never heard of them," he says. And Perdue and company -- who reminded him of The Allman Brothers when he heard "Umbrella" -- have as good a chance as anyone to become the next dark horse to emerge from the Grammy nominating process, says Gomes.
Gomes recalls the year 2000, when a then-unknown blues singer and songwriter from Boston captured a surprise nomination for Best New Artist. Susan Tedeschi didn't win, but being nominated catapulted her to much wider renown, and Gomes says a similar stunner is bound to someday happen again.
He adds that merely being able to mention the word "Grammy" in the same sentence as your band can open doors in the industry. "People in the business will talk to you. That's what it really does for you," he says.
The ballot will be winnowed early next month to five official nominees in each category. Whatever happens, Perdue and his bandmates plan to keep plugging away, selling copies of their CD, "Sleepin' With My Shoes On" (available through the Web site," and enjoying their brush with Grammy notoriety.
"For a young band like us," Perdue says, "it's a really big honor to be on the ballot at all."

- Dan LeRoy


October 2004 - Liquid Harvest Demo
March 2005 - Liquid Harvest Live
September 2005 - Sleepin' In My Shoes (EP)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Liquid Harvest was formed originally in 2002 and has been molded throughout the last couple of years to become the solid ensemble that it is today. Our influences include The Grateful Dead, Victor Lemonte Wooten, Steve Kimock Band, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, and Jimi Hendrix. Our number one most important aspect of our playing is our search for a totally honest musical experience.

Liquid Harvest has shared the stage with:
The Larry Keel Experience
Acoustic Syndicate