THE SHIBS, formerly Sharp & Harkins Band
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THE SHIBS, formerly Sharp & Harkins Band

Madison, Wisconsin, United States | SELF

Madison, Wisconsin, United States | SELF
Band Rock Folk


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



"CD Review: Alive Again, 2006"

Sharp & Harkins Band celebrate a beautiful life with 'Alive Again':

To be truly alive, is to have a full range of emotions, expressions, and experiences. Sharp & Harkins Band’s first full studio album, ‘Alive Again’ is all of these things and more. The album lyrics touch on the essences of life. Touching on the usual song topics of love, friendship and loss, Sharp & Harkins boil them down into beautiful simplicity that allows each listener to be able to relate to their poetry.

“We’re too young to be acting so old.” Ryan Harkins proclaims in the song ‘Too Young’. However there is maturity that is found in this freshman album similar to a group that has been playing together for five plus years. Harmonies between vocals and instrumentation blend together in a way that captures your heart. The range of emotions reached will make you want to dance to ‘Ocean View’, and cry while listening to ‘Sunny Rain’.

This range carries over into the style of songs and genre found in ‘Alive Again’. The album has touches of rock and folk, each composition unique. But like their harmonies, the genres blend together very well in the album. There is cohesiveness, while still celebrating the diversity of each style. It is this unique blend that has warranted the nomination of eight categories for the 2007 Madison Area Music Awards.

What this album does more than anything else is celebrate life. Sharp & Harkins Band is certainly ‘Alive Again’. “So pick your poison, choose your friends. Let’s all say cheers in the end. It’s a beautiful, it’s a beautiful life.”

Jessica Thompson, Contessa Says Magazine - Contessa Says Magazine

"So Co Music Experience Review"

"The Sharp & Harkins Band at the [105.5] Triple M stage turned out to be a pleasant surprise, with an insistent up-tempo back-beat, a funk-influenced bassist breaking into occasional solos, bass harmonica and conga accompaniment, and cool, whispered lyrics. It all had the air of a laid-back living room jam, with songs seamlessly flowing into each other and an ably performed cover of the Beatles' 'A Day in the Life'...Arguably, they were the best band...."

- Jason Lester, ArtsEtc, The Badger Herald - The Badger Herald

"Indie-Rock w/ Blues & Funk"

The Sharp and Harkins Band is an indie-rock band with a slight case of blues and funk. These four guys have a laid back stage presence allowing the music to wash over the crowd.

-Bodog Battle
(Review of performance at the Metro, Chicago) - Bodog Music

"To Each His Own Album Review"

"I cranked through the album in the car and it really is good! I think it's still the same tried and true Sharp and Harkins sound, but I love how you guys sprinkled in some heavier guitar pieces and the whole break down rap on Shake You. Very unexpected! It made it much more interesting to listen to and kept me guessing and wanting more."

-Matt Jacoby
Local Sounds, LLC
Feb 09 - Local Sounds, LLC

"Folksy Rock"

“Madison is home to bands who specialize in the drinkin’, dancin’, and fun-havin’ scene. Enter The Sharp & Harkins Band...If your heart is easily captured by the likes of Ben Harper, Dispatch, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, or Jack Johnson, this is the band for you.”

-Mike Paulus, Volume One
- Volume One Magazine

"Sharp & Harkins Branch Out on New Album"

Direct Link:

"A lot of our songs are carefree and upbeat," says Andy Sharp, "but this time we were ready to try different emotions."

Alongside his lifelong friend and musical partner, Ryan Harkins, Sharp was talking on a cell phone as he drove down a highway outside Knoxville, Tenn.

The subject was Sharp and Harkins' new album, To Each His Own. The release finds the Madison rockers maturing as songwriters and embracing more complex arrangements. They've also taken their show on the road, touring outside the upper Midwest for the first time.

Sharp, 24, and Harkins, 25, grew up together in Stoughton. They've been a daily presence in each other's lives for many years, dating back to elementary school.

During high school, Harkins started playing guitar. When Sharp went over to Harkins' house, he thought his friend's new hobby was pretty cool. So he took it up himself.

After graduating from Stoughton High, Sharp and Harkins went their separate ways. Sharp attended UW-Whitewater, and Harkins moved to Green Bay to attend St. Norbert College.

Their friendship thrived during semester breaks back home in Stoughton. In 2005, they began performing as the acoustic duo of Sharp & Harkins.

In Madison music's spectrum of styles, Sharp and Harkins hang out at the acoustic pop/rock end, alongside Lucas Cates and Mike Droho's new band, the Compass Rose. This cluster of young musicians share characteristics. They're troubadours in the strong, silent-type mode.

Collectively, they've carved out musical paths influenced by mass-market heartthrobs like John Mayer and Jack Johnson. They're acoustic singer-songwriters that you might enjoy if you like bright FM radio hits like Mayer's "Waiting for the World to Change." So far, the more complex arrangements of indie rock — the kind you hear in the baroque synth of college radio bands like MGMT — have not been for them.

On the opening tracks of To Each His Own, released under the Sharp & Harkins Band moniker, the pair show songwriting maturity that's been developed since their 2007 release, Alive Again. Some songs, like "Shake It," still favor pop arrangements that tend to be more traditional. The ornamentation, song structures and chord progressions are more familiar, all of which safely restrain the emotion of the song.

But you can hear greater use of experimentation in "Freedom," a song that sounds a lot like Elliott Smith in its use of quietly intense vocals. Swelling strings and a lonely harmonica add to the depth of emotion and make it one of the standouts on this album. And you can hear it in the nervous tempo of "Everything," a track that's beautifully enhanced by a skittish piano solo and bursts of bluesy-rock chords akin to Ben Harper.

"We wanted to experiment this time out, and we brought in a violinist from Chicago to help add a different sound to the album," says Sharp. "These are the songs we wanted, and this is the way we wanted them to be."

- The Isthmus, Madison, WI

"Sharp & Harkins Band CD Release Party"

"On the heels of a major tour through several southern states, the Sharp & Harkins Band are returning home for a CD release party at Stella's Speakeasy in Stoughton on Saturday, Nov. 22nd, starting at 8:30 p.m.

Fronted by Stoughton natives Andy Sharp and Ryan Harkins, the Sharp & Harkins Band recently released its second full-length CD, 'To Each His Own.' The band's first CD, 'Alive Again,' earned the group two Madison Area Music Awards in 2007, including Best Unique Song of the Year for their song 'Ocean View.'

In 2008, Sharp & Harkins Band won Best Folk/Americana Artist of the Year for the second consecutive year.

Other members of the Sharp & Harkins Band are Justin Barak, also a Stoughton native, on bass, and Colin Schaeffer on drums. Mike Adams (Westside Andy, Cool Front) also plays harmonica on the new album.

'We had a great tour down south and now we're looking forward to playing some shows back home,' said Harkins. 'We're very proud of our new CD. It was 100 percent produced by us and it's what we sound like live. We hope everyone from Stoughton will come out and see us.'

Sharp & Harkins indie-rocking sound bowwows on blues, rock and folk influences." - The Stoughton Courier Hub, Stoughton, WI

"CD Review: Alive Again, 2006"

"Alive Again' combines all the right elements to create a soothing atmosphere, while at the same time making you want to tap your feet to the acoustic grooves."

Matt Jacoby, Local Sounds - Local Sounds, LLC

"2007 Madison Area Music Awards Press"

"Harmonies between vocals and instrumentation blend together in a way that captures your heart. The range of emotions reached will make you want to dance to 'Ocean View', and cry while listening to 'Sunny Rain'."

- Jessica Thompson, Contessa Says Online Cultural Magazine

"CD's Of Note"

A quiet, cool whisper, a couple of soulful steel-string guitar riffs, and positive and affirming attitude make The Sharp and Harkins Band the perfect Sunday summer morning band. Tracks from its album transport the listener to a sun-drenched front porch even in the dead of winter. With echoes of Soul Asylum, Sister Hazel and even a little Better than Ezra, "To Each His Own" displays the talent of the group. Toying with the pace of things, The Sharp and Harkins Band presents more than one song with tempos that transform from the soft and smooth to the frantic and frenzied. The title track is a perfect example of the aforementioned speed shift. The verses are set in neutral, traveling at a natural speed, building momentum until the sudden acceleration of a catchy and carefree chorus. With songs like "High Heels," and "Look Up High" and "Alright," this album does not disappoint with its brand of grass-roots rock.

- By Shaun E. Kreider, The Patriot-News, Feb 12, 2009 - The Patriot-News



To Each His Own (2008)
Alive Again (2007)
Sharp & Harkins (Self-Titled, 2006)
The Outside Sessions (2005)

Radio Airplay: 92.1 The Mic, 105.5 MMM, , 89.9 WORT, 88.9 WOJB



The Shibs are developing a tasty rock sound that delivers the performance that the stellar songwriting deserves.

The Shibs just finished their new record, To Each His Own, capturing the live sound and fulfilling their vision!

Reflecting the eclectic styles of the band and their captivating live concerts, To Each His Own is the band’s newest release. Teaming up with good friend and platinum-record recording engineer Nate Oberman, The Shibs produced the 14 song album. To Each His Own carries The Shibs solidly into the rock genre, while remaining loyal to the musical sincerity that has won them considerable acclaim and fanfare. Stay tuned for more news!

In front-men and founders Andy Sharp & Ryan Harkins, The Shibs has formidable songwriters, guitar players, and vocalists able to deliver elements of rock, folk, and blues into their Indie style; Colin Schaeffer & Justin Barak provide the tight beats and grooves of the heart-pounding rhythm section. Mike “Mouse” Adams Jr., the newest addition to the group, is one of the most talented blues harmonica players in the region.

Drawing from the slide guitar riffs of Ben Harper and John Butler, the Sharp & Harkins Band delivers their innovative rock sound with “an insistent up-tempo back-beat, a funk-influenced bassist, and cool, whispered lyrics,” as proclaimed by the Badger Herald.

As a testament to the quality and creativity of their sound, the band received multiple honors in the 2007 and 2008 Madison Area Music Awards, including Best Unique Song of the Year. The band has also played premiere festivals and venues across the Midwest, including Summerfest, the Mid-American Music Festival, La Crosse Riverfest, Bratfest, and the Southern Comfort Music Experience.

Whether they are rocking Summerfest for a crowd of thousands, the Metro in Chicago for hundreds, or clubs with merely a few dozen patrons, the Sharp & Harkins Band perform their music with energy and vision.

Live Video Here:

Other influences: Black Keys, Ben Harper, Kings Of Leon, Cold War Kids, White Stripes, Ryan Adams, John Butler Trio, Brett Dennen, Sublime, Slightly Stoopid, G. Love., Bright Eyes, and many others