The Harmed Brothers
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The Harmed Brothers

Portland, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | INDIE

Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Americana Indie




"Beer and Bluegrass with The Harmed Brothers"

If the current state of music has you feeling disenfranchised, there is at least a glimmer of hope in the recent resurgence of acoustic-based bands that draw heavy influences from bluegrass and folk music. Groups like Trampled by Turtles, The Avett Brothers, and Mumford and Sons have helped introduce a mass audience to a new range of sounds that offer something more human and real than the untz-driven music currently dominating the airwaves and brains of young people everywhere. Contrary to popular belief, there are young people who still care about real music made with real instruments.

Spinning folk, bluegrass, and Americana in to one delightful listening experience, The Harmed Brothers are part of this new generation of musicians who are taking old forms and presenting it to new audiences. I recently spoke to banjo player and vocalist, Alex Salcido, as the band traveled to Austin from their home base of Eugene, Oregon.

Was there a reason behind playing back-to-back nights in Austin?
Austin's a pretty unique city, and we just fell under its spell. Whenever we come through, we want to play as much as possible. There's just so much to experience out there - the music, the rooms, the atmosphere - so we definitely have a soft spot for this place.

How did the members of the band connect?
Well, our guitarist/singer Ray and our drummer Ben have been friends since high school in rural Missouri. I joined the band back in 2009. Our bassist Alec joined us earlier this year, and we'll be getting back our old bassist in about a week, actually. He's actually Ben's brother, so he's known Ray just as long.

How have musical backgrounds of the band members played in to the band’s sound?
We all have similar backgrounds, I think. We're all self-taught and like to try different things musically. We all know together when we want to shake things up. We're just blessed with curiosity, I suppose.

In a time when acoustic acts like Mumford & Sons and The Avett Brothers are considered “mainstream” acts, have you found it easier to connect with an audience when you go out on the road?
Yes and no. Those names and their sound have lead people up to our name and our sound, but there could also be some expectation that you might not live up to when on the road. So we [would] rather not worry about it and just play.

Do you have any personal opinions or thoughts on why acoustic and bluegrass-based music has caught on with a mass audience recently?

I think a lot of acoustic based bands these days are some of the hardest working and most passionate. A lot of love is being put into it and I think it's that hard work and passion for art that's getting people to pay attention.

Being from a beer-centric place like Oregon, what are some of your favorite craft brews?

A few of us are fans of the Total Domination IPA, Believer Red Ale and Tricerahops IPA - all fantastic brews. They're from Ninkasi, of course. We DO love our Lonestars when we're in Texas, though.

What can fans expect from The Harmed Brothers in the future?

In late January 2013, we should be setting up for a European tour, and after that we'll head back into the studio to work on a brand new full-length album.
- The Horn - ATX

"The Harmed Brothers"

The Harmed Brothers are a (like they say themselves) Indiegrass group out of Eugene, Oregon. The members Ray Vietti (guitar/vocals), Alex Salcido (banjo/piano/vocals), Zach Kilmer (upright bass) and Ben Kilmer (drums) have been making music for quite some years already (especially if getting a guitar at the age of 18 makes you a musician) but got the Harmed-Brothers-train really on the track in 2010 with their debut “All The Lies You Wanna Hear.” This album was independently released and recorded in Cottage Grove, Oregon.

In 2011, The Harmed Brothers agreed to release their sophomore release, “Come Morning,” which after a year of work and recording and doing live shows at the same time came out in May 2012 on the label LackPro Records.

Many tags and labels have been stuck on this band already, comparisons with mumford & sons, the avett brothers and other upcoming newgrass/indiegrass and Americana bands. I can sort of see why, it’s always easy to compare with known bands. But truly I think the Harmed Brothers have quite a personal style and sound. Without wanting to put yet another tag on this bright group of musicians, they make me think of the gourds. Not because they sound like them, but because of the general feel they give me. I still remember laying my hands on “Dem’s Good Beeble” (1997) and listening to the album for months in a row (rebuilding an old village house in the deep south of France) and fuelling up with the energy which that album gave me. For almost six months I was listening to the lyrics, trying to figure out the song structures and the meaning behind the well written stories. And I’m pretty sure I will do about the same thing with “Come Morning”.

The Harmed Brothers found a superb balance between rock, traditional, pop and folk. The use of the banjo is perfect, played in between something which reminds us of claw-hammer or finger picking guitar. It does not impose a too bluegrassy sound to the music but just adds that roots-feeling and became a signature of the band’s sound. Of course there are also the vocal qualities of Ray and Alex and the way they lay out their songlines, build on melodies which add that alt-rock-band feeling to it all. - Americana Music France

"The Harmed Brothers - Come Morning - Review"

The Harmed Brothers is a slightly misleadingly-named four-piece; though two brothers do feature in the lineup (Zach and Ben Kilmer, who comprise the band's rhythm section), it was actually formed in small-town Oregon by guitarist Ray Vietti and banjoist/guitarist Alex Salcido, who share lead vocals and write the songs. Ray and Alex had already released an album back in 2010 (All The Lies You Want To Hear), and have built on the success of that record with a period of relentless touring with Zach and Ben and now the release of Come Morning, a collection of ten new songs that embody their honest, infectious, no-frills and slightly rocky approach to Appalachian-flavoured indie-Americana.

If only the material were just a touch more memorable and the instrumentation occasionally a touch more varied, they'd be onto a winner I suspect, but on this showing I get the feeling that it's their live performances that give them an edge rather than repeated exposure on CD in the harsh light of home-listening (tho' the disc sounds good on the car stereo), although their rough-hewn momentum is certainly an attractive, endearing trait, and the singing is pretty strong too (especially that of Ray). Arguably the most distinctive of the songs on display here are those that tell a story through their emotional state, like State Of Kansas, We Might Not Have To Die and Quick, Quick. The reflective, and uncredited, piano-backed bonus cut is also worthy of note but is out of keeping with the rest of the material. So - not entirely convincing perhaps, but there's enough potential there to keep The Harmed Brothers under the radar till their next release.

David Kidman - FATEA

"Acoustic Group The Harmed Brothers Passionate About Their Art"

The two hottest music genres right now could not be more different.

In one camp there is the growing legion of electronic-based artists, who make their music from behind a wall of synth modules, drum machines and computers.

And then there are the acoustic musicians, always there but suddenly popular behind the successes of groups like Mumford & Sons and The Avett Brothers, who grind it out night after night playing real instruments.

"As for electronica, I couldn't tell you why it's popular," says Alex Salcido, banjo player and co-lead vocalist for Oregon's The Harmed Brothers, a group that proudly falls into the latter category. "But what we've seen on the road is that the hardest-working, the most passionate bands today aren't even heard of. They're on the road forever. I think a lot of people are starting to notice that.

"There're a lot of people in this world who are so passionate about their art that they're willing to go out on and live on the road and play whenever and wherever possible. I'd like to think people are recognizing that and people are paying attention to the stories and what these people have to say."

People are certainly starting to pay attention to The Harmed Brothers, who perform Tuesday at Newby's. Formed three years ago in Cottage Grove, Ore., the four-piece released its second full-length album, Come Morning, in May to strong reviews.

The basic elements will be familiar to anyone steeped in Americana — driving acoustic rhythms pushed along by bassist Alec La Roche and drummer Ben Kilmer, and soaring melodies courtesy of Salcido and the group's other songwriter, guitarist Ray Vietti. It's a formula perhaps best expressed on Come Morning single "Beast of the North West."

But Salcido stresses The Harmed Brothers bring their own style to the proceedings.

"It's a double-edge sword because the Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, those names have the power to lead you to other bands like us, but then you have this expectation you have to live up to. 'Oh, you're not Mumford & Sons,' " he says. "It just so happens we're doing this at a time when acoustic music, folk music, Americana, whatever you call it, is getting real big. We'd rather not worry about that and just do us."

The Harmed Brothers date back to Vietti and Kilmer's childhood together in Missouri. By 2009, Vietti was living in Oregon playing in an early version of the group. One of the bands they regularly played shows with was Termite Dog, an acoustic duo that included Salcido, a transplanted Californian.

After a shakeup in The Harmed Brothers, Vietti and Salcido began playing together, eventually pulling in Kilmer from North Carolina and adding La Roche last year.

"There was just a very special bind between me and Ray," says Salcido. "After the first few times hearing each other's songs, we realized these were pretty important stories and feelings that should be shared, and we wanted to do that together. I think we're doing them pretty well so far."

The group released its debut, All The Lies You Want To Hear, in 2010, and has spent much of the two years since on the road crisscrossing the U.S. and Europe. They did take time out to record Come Morning, a record that, despite its directness, represents a more expansive approach for the band.

"The first record was just Ray and I in a living room facing each other playing our songs," says Salcido. "This one we wanted to make it a little bigger, a little broader but not overblow it. - Go Memphis

"PDX at SXSW - The Harmed Brothers"

From Portland to Austin this March, there will be a great migration of Portland’s musicians, crew, and business people for Austin’s SXSW Music Festival and Conference. Stay tuned to Oregon Music News in the days leading up to the mid-March fest (March 13-18) for the latest in a mini-series about Oregon musicians prepping to showcase their acts way down in Texas.
Today’s interview is with Ray Vietti from the indie-bluegrass duo The Harmed Brothers, and although their home turf is a little closer to Eugene than Portland, we’ll claim them for our PDX showcase series.
Watch The Harmed Brothers video for “You Could Not Lie”:

Why would your band be willing to drive 2000ish miles to another state to play a showcase?
We are almost always on the road touring—matter of a fact, we are touring right now emailing you from St. Louis, MO, where we are in the process of recording our new album Come Morning, which will be released on Lackadaisical Records. SXSW is a massive event and any shows your band can get during music week should always be taken. There are so many industry people and fans of music in general down there, you never know who’s gonna see you where. Last year we played at Hillgrass Bluebilly Records and it was our only show booked in Austin during SXSW… until we played it. Next night we were playing a party right off the main strip Sixth Street. This year we have shows nearly everyday of music week and multiples on some of the days. Too much fun to pass up.
What do you expect to get from the opportunity to showcase?
Just like any other show we play: more fans. More people wanting to support what we do. Anything else is just a bonus.
Are there specific aspects of the music industry you want to learn more about or are there services you would like to add to your team?
You know, since our beginnings of touring I have done all of our management, booking and band business. It would be nice to find someone that can take on at least the duties of booking for us. Granted, as the years have passed my job has gotten easier but it would be a whole lot nicer to not have to sit in front of this CPU and send emails all day.
Do you already have management, booking agent, record label, publicist, radio promotion, social media expert?
We recently received some label support from Lackadaisical Records out of Oklahoma City. They are helping get our new album out to the masses. No publicist, radio promoter (though we have received radio play in the States and overseas), or social media expert.
How did you get the showcase gig?
We recently became a Ninkasi-sponsored band and we were already going to be down south, so it just kinda worked itself out. Should be a fun event. Our friends Benyaro out of Brooklyn were recently added. They’re great and always fun to share a bill with.
Will you play other shows in Austin?
As of right now, we have shows every day but Tuesday. Some days more than one show and we are still crossing our fingers on three others. Should be pretty busy.
Have you planned a tour surrounding this showcase?
We have. We left Eugene on February 1st. We will reach North Carolina by March 2 and loop through the Southeast back to Austin. Our drive is cut up by shows. We will be coming in from the east as we loop back toward Texas. Something like an eight hour drive from New Orleans where we will be a few days before music week kicks off. Then back east. We won’t be back in the Northwest till the end of July after Farmageddon Records Farm Fest in West Yellowstone, MT. For events during music week, the easiest place to find them is The Harmed Brothers Facebook fan page.
Anything you want to do in route or once you are in TX?
We are recording a new album along this tour and getting it finished finally. We already recorded this record once in upstate New York and, for reasons undisclosed, we scratched it. So finishing up this recording and getting it out as soon as possible is objective number one. Once we arrive in Texas, it’s all about friends and fam, which we have a lot of down there. Also there will be many artists from of our family of musicians playing in Austin, so will be nice to get to see a lot of them in one place.
What gear will be jettisoned for the trip and what instruments would you not dream of leaving behind?
It is just Alex and myself, a guitar and a banjo; however, we will be picking up some musicians along the way that will now be joining us in Austin and through the month of March.
Have you picked out your set list?
We play what we feel like in the moment—almost always. Shouldn’t be any different in Austin, but maybe we will put something together in some sort of order, or at least the songs we want to play but in no particular order.
Anyone you want to meet in Austin?
Other musicians. Aside from all the industry folks, SXSW the festival is a great event for musician-to-musician networking. I won’t pretend to know what this business was like before our time, but in this time, it’s not easy to be a young band. The more bands you meet the more knowledge you gather. There’s always another venue you haven’t been to and trading places with each other and making new friends and contacts only makes this struggle for success seem that much more attainable.
Do you have any special tricks to get folks to your show?
Busking helps but we won’t really have much time for that so we just have to rely on our fans to bring their friends and hope that continues to keep occurring.
Will you bring any cool swag to sell or giveaway?
Hopefully we can get this record completed by the time we reach Texas so we have another record to push down there. We’ll see…
Will you promoting a recording or video while you are down there?
If our new record Come Morning is finished, we will be pushing it. If not, we are still promoting our first studio release, All The Lies You Wanna Hear, which was recorded a little over a year and a half ago in Cottage Grove, OR.
Oregon artists such as The Harmed Brothers will continue to take the yearly spring trip to Austin to play music for the masses there, and this may be because Portland and Austin have a kinship. The two hip and liberal towns share many things in common, such a wicked, healthy and nurturing independent music scene. Parts of each town even resemble the other. South Austin feels like inner-eastside Portland as it is the Texas capitol’s bohemian part of town with all its taquerias, art shops, funky, yummy cafes, and fabulous dive bars—many of which blossom into make-shift concert venues each March.
The Harmed Brothers play 10pm Friday, March 16th at East Avenue Lounge, 90 East Avenue in Austin, TX as part of the The Ninkasi Northwest Local Outpost Presented by In Music We Trust. The show will be free (no wrist bands or badges needed). - Oregon Music News

"The Harmed Brothers - Come Morning - Review"

With a sound that has it roots on back porches and around campfires, the quartet of the Harmed Brothers, (which does actually include two brothers) plays loose and easy and sing together with a certain abandon and a large sense of vitality. Their songs, all but one written by the quartet, have a rough-hewn quality that gives them a’ warts and all’ realness that is as attractive as it is no-frills. However there is no escaping the similarity of their sound to some of the early Avett Brothers recordings, although that should not affect enjoyment of their music in its own right.

Though they use acoustic instrumentation - banjo, guitar, ukulele and upright bass - the music has a rawness that pure bluegrass fans may find a little off the well-beaten cover songs track for their tastes. But if you have a more open mind then the wide possibilities of their acoustic music and original songs, which could just as easily find themselves in an electric setting, then the Harmed Brothers will be a pretty safe bet. The are also capable of a softer delivery as in the harmonies and simpler delivery of We Might Not Have To Die or in the piano used on The Water Is Sweeter or the catchiness of the folky Letter To Lisa. The four piece band’s latest album should be taken and enjoyed as it was intended. Note: only four people were Harmed in the making of this album. They undoubtedly enjoyed the experience, as you should. - Lonesome Highway

"The Harmed Brothers - Come Morning - Review"

With a sound that has it roots on back porches and around campfires, the quartet of the Harmed Brothers, (which does actually include two brothers) plays loose and easy and sing together with a certain abandon and a large sense of vitality. Their songs, all but one written by the quartet, have a rough-hewn quality that gives them a’ warts and all’ realness that is as attractive as it is no-frills. However there is no escaping the similarity of their sound to some of the early Avett Brothers recordings, although that should not affect enjoyment of their music in its own right.

Though they use acoustic instrumentation - banjo, guitar, ukulele and upright bass - the music has a rawness that pure bluegrass fans may find a little off the well-beaten cover songs track for their tastes. But if you have a more open mind then the wide possibilities of their acoustic music and original songs, which could just as easily find themselves in an electric setting, then the Harmed Brothers will be a pretty safe bet. The are also capable of a softer delivery as in the harmonies and simpler delivery of We Might Not Have To Die or in the piano used on The Water Is Sweeter or the catchiness of the folky Letter To Lisa. The four piece band’s latest album should be taken and enjoyed as it was intended. Note: only four people were Harmed in the making of this album. They undoubtedly enjoyed the experience, as you should. - Lonesome Highway

"The Harmed Brothers - Come Morning - Review"

Usually I would need to have been listening to an album for at least 6 months before it would get close to being put up here. I have had this album for 3 weeks, take what you will from that.

Listen While You Read

Their last album was excellent, and so far this one is a great follow on.

On first listen you may think every song sounds the same, but trust me listen to it again.

Great harmonies, great guitar and even greater banjo. Bring it on. - Transient Folk

"The Harmed Brothers - Come Morning - Review"

Waar ik mij dit jaar aan heb lopen ergeren is het optreden van de irritante radio DJ Giel Beelen. In het tv-programma De Wereld Draait Door komt Giel aan met “ik heb nu toch een heel leuke band ontdekt”. Vervolgens is hij nog in de veronderstelling dat hij met de formatie The Alabama Shakes” iets unieks heeft gevonden, terwijl deze Amerikaanse formatie bij de meeste muziekliefhebbers al langer in de belangstelling stond.
Een deel van de muziek die ik op het Altcountryforum aan het licht breng, ontdek ik zelf, door op internetsites rond te kijken. Zo trok het uit Donnie Vieti en Alex Salcido bestaande duo The Harmed Brothers uit Oregon met hun debuutalbum enkele jaren geleden mijn aandacht. Goudeerlijke, opzwepende of subtiele muziek met een bijzondere combinatie van folkrock met invloeden uit de Appalachen. Twee jaar verder is het tweetal inmiddels met Ben en Zach Kilmer uitgebreid tot een kwartet en waren het afgelopen jaar de Amerikaanse clubpodia het werkterrein voor de vier heren van The Harmed Brothers. Onlangs verscheen een lang verwachte nieuwe muzikale worp. Het parcours, dat “Come Morning” heeft moeten afleggen verliep niet altijd even gladjes. Over de opnames in New York met een plaatselijke producer was de groep ontevreden. Gekozen werd voor een nieuwe producer (David Beemand) en een andere opnameplek (Missouri). - Alt Country Forum

"The Harmed Brothers - Come Morning - Review"

The second album by Eugene, Oregon-based four-piece alt-country band, delivers nine new original songs with the one cover of Willy Tea Taylor's jangly The Very Best. With the two voices of Ray Vietti and Alex Salcido, who between them play guitar and banjo respectively, the duo are joined by the Kilmer brothers' rhythm section featuring Ben on drums and Zach on bass. With the roots of their music stretching back to their teenage years, the Harmed Brothers tend to keep it raw throughout, with each of the songs treated to a simple uncluttered arrangement, featuring as their trump card, their final vocal harmonies and rootsy banjo-led feel, especially on such songs as Beast of the Northwest, The Water is Sweeter and Up Off the Ground. Don't miss the piano-led hidden track 1951, which in effect demonstrates another side of the band. - Northern Sky Music Magazine

"The Harmed Brothers - Come Morning - Review"

This excellent four piece band are blessed with two vocalists just about as good as any band in roots music can boast of and with perfect harmonies to match. They play music that has, as the predominant instrument, a banjo and yet
the album is as alt. country as they come, and in the truest sense, being at times mellow of sound but strong lyrically and with an understated power and an
atmospherically raw sound. Classic alt. country in other words, despite consisting of an all acoustic instrumentation, but without ever venturing into bluegrass or old timey, perhaps ‘folksy alt. Country’?
This is an unusual album in the respect that it was recorded twice thanks to the comings and goings of band members and disputes that would have made lesser bands call it a day. So was it worth all that trouble? They obviously think so and my feeling is that so will anyone else hearing this album and probably by the end of the first song. The band consists of Ray Vietti on guitar, lead vocals, tenor Ukulele, Alex Salcido on banjo, also lead vocals, piano and guitar, Zach Kilmer, upright bass and Ben Kilmer on drums, with all of the songs being band co writes with the exception of Willie T. Taylor’s The Very Best.
As soon as I hear a banjo I tend to warm towards an album, and yet, there are times on this recording when the banjo sound can be a little too upfront, with the rest of the instrumentation (of which there is of necessity relatively little!) seemingly relegated to a supporting roll, as a consequence making the sound a little too repetitive. Despite that this is a very good, well played album with some good songs, although the real strength of their sound is those tremendous lead and harmony vocals. There is an occasional high lonesomeness to some of the songs but the feeling is more one of a wide open spaciness, giving it a live feel, added to by those vocals and the quite sparse instrumentation. The playing is always good but there is just that nagging thought that whenever there appears to be a solo it is invariably the banjo, perhaps the addition of a fiddle might have helped? Maybe it’s just the way the album is mixed or the naturally chiming banjo sound that forces it forwards, although this is a minor complaint that shouldn’t detract from what is an extremely good, well planned and executed album. As I’ve already said, I love the sound of a banjo and many will see the dominance of that instrument as a bonus rather than a weak point!
There are some really strong melodies and excellent lyrics that stay with you long after the album has finished playing, emphasized by those excellent vocals and the generally restrained
playing that allows the vocals the space they need. The songs range from slow moody ballads to a lively mid tempo and there is certainly not anyone else I can think of to compare them to, so there is an element of individuality to their music as well.
Album opener State of Kansas, is a nice banjo driven ballad that perfectly catches the forlorn lost love feel as the story teller sets out with the intention of perhaps winning back his lost love, whilst Oh the Glory is again banjo led but with acoustic guitar equally balanced on a strong but easy loping country song that has a high lonesome sound with great lead and harmony vocals. Beast of the North West is a mid tempo song that has a ‘highlonesomeness’ (but a world away from bluegrass!) and a driving rawness of sound and theme. A Letter to Lisa is probably the catchiest song so far with the usual excellent vocals and banjo, with acoustic guitar and bass providing good support and album closer 1951 steps out of character with a beautifully sparse vocal and piano only ballad.
Overall this is a terrific album that is close to being exceptional and really gives them something to build on for the future, which if they can keep this lineup together should be rosy!
- AmericanRootsUK

"The Harmed Brothers - All the Lies You Wanna Hear"

I make it a point to never miss a Tuesday night at The Basement in Nashville. Every Tuesday the grimey grimester dubbed “Grimes” hosts what I consider to be a very special event featuring the best in new talent from Nashville and from around the world. This past Tuesday, however, gave me the opportunity to spend some time with one of my favorite new artists, The Harmed Brothers. This Eugene, Oregon based trio closed out an eventful night with a powerful and fresh Americana, mountain-folk set. Captivating, to say the least.

Room…silent. Crowd… motionless. You always know that something special is happening musically when a band finishes a song and the crowd is so memorized they forget to clap. It is as if to applaud before that final note stops reverberating in any space in the room is to topple a magnificent sculpture that just finished being constructed.

Shortly after the set, I overheard someone in the crowd mention that these guys were traveling with a trailer full of some of Oregon’s finest brew. As an avid purveyor of the brewing arts (ahem, beer) this was information enough for me to strike up a conversation with the band. One thing led to another and I offered my house up as a crash spot in exchange for some good laughs, good tunes, and of course, beer. By the time I was up and about the next morning The Harmed Brothers were back out on the road headed to their next gig, but they had left me a t-shirt and a copy of their latest album titled, All The Lies You Want to Hear.

I put this album in my CD player fourteen days ago and it hasn’t come out yet. The Harmed Brothers music will hit home with anyone who is fortunate enough to lend an ear. This album is organic, holistic, and timeless. It is immediately apparent upon first listen that The Harmed Brothers have a very special sound on their hands. The voices of both Ray Vietti and Alex Salcido are captivating and powerful throughout the entire album. Drummer and percussionist Adam Morehouse backs up the entire operation using an anatomical and unorthodox sound congruent with the feeling of this simple yet fundamental music. Unique sounds of claps and boot heels are featured throughout the skeleton of the entire album.

There are no shiny bells or whistles involved in the production of All The Lies You Want to Hear, just the fleshy, heartfelt sounds and emotions of a band that is using the bare minimum to inspire massive emotion. It is evident when listening to this album that the hearts of The Harmed Brothers are not just worn on their sleeves, but are tattooed on their foreheads. This album is a raw representation of the American spirit and of American music. The feeling of the music changes seamlessly and appropriately throughout the album. One minute you are getting a punked-out rock infused Americana track and the next your listening to a sultry folk-country, ballad-driven tune with traditional banjo and guitar sounds.

Harmony is what separates the boys from the men, and there is no shortage here, as Ray and Alex relentlessly maneuver though these tracks with vocal unity. It is a rare pleasantry to hear two extremely unique voices work together with such grace. Many artists these days get away with disguising their lackluster writing with catchy melodies and mediocre singing, often bastardized by the algorithms that we derive from modern day sound augmenting software. There is nothing lacking in any of The Harmed Brothers written content and the sound is as raw as human flesh.

The stories, the emotion, the desperation, the yearning, the pain, the joy and the love are all boldly addressed in this album. Whereas many artists write about general material that everyone can “relate to,” The Harmed Brothers are writing about heartfelt experiences from their lives and they are holding nothing back. The end result… a genuine connection with genuine music. The Harmed Brothers are out there on the grind performing every day so make sure you get out and see these guys if you ever get the chance. You will not be disappointed. - Indie Music Reviewer Magazine

"Review - The Harmed Brothers - Come Morning"

The Harmed Brothers may be from Oregon, but their sound comes straight from the heartland. Combining bluegrass and folk instrumentation with a rock edge, these fellas are similar to another folk rocking “brother” band, The Avett Brothers. I had never heard the group before last week, when I got an email asking me to give a listen. I get those kind of emails on occasion, and they’re usually hit or miss. The Harmed Brothers were a direct hit. Their new album, Come Morning, is an onslaught of up-tempo jams driven by strong vocals.

The first thing I was impressed with on Come Morning were the vocals of Ray Vietti and Alex Salcido. Much like Joe Pug, it’s pretty clear that these two were born to sing bluegrass/folk/country tunes. And it’s no surprise. With roots that lead back to rural Missouri, I imagine Vietti was surrounded by this kind of music throughout his childhood. I especially enjoy the tone of Vietti’s voice. I spent hours trying to place it, trying to figure out who he sounded like. I couldn’t, and I realized that he just has one of those voices. It has a familiarity to it, giving you a sense of comfort. Like you’ve know him for years and you’re just sitting on a porch somewhere as he sings down the sun. Vietti and Salcido also combine multiple times to create striking melodies, including really nice call and response segments, giving their sound an added sense of depth. With standard instrumentation, the vocals, coupled with effective songwriting, really carry the album and will have you singing along more often than not.

The instrumentation on Come Morning is pretty customary for a folk-rock record. Save for the bonus track, every song consists of guitar, banjo, bass and drums. I would have loved to see a bit more variety. “1951? (the bonus track), is a lamenting piano ballad that comes out of nowhere, and is a welcomed surprise. When you don’t have unique instrumentation, you can make it effective with interesting song composition. “Beast of the North West” accomplishes this with moments in which instrumentation is dropped entirely, leaving only vocals, and then picked back up just a moment later. “Up Off the Ground” has a nice rising and cresting form to it, with an impressive banjo line as well. Beyond that, though, there isn’t much of note. This is where the band has the most growth and experimentation to be had. It’s not like they need an incredibly unique sound, they’ve made an extremely listenable and enjoyable album with basically four instruments, an impressive feat. But a little experimentation outside of their comfort zone might serve them well.

Like many bluegrass/country tunes, the blues make themselves noticed on this record. “The Very Best” sees a man left with little confidence, believing all he is good at is longing for a lover. “I might not be good at most things I do/ Oh, but I’m the very best at missing you.” Album opener, “State of Kansas,” depicts a person conflicted, at one moment regretting, the next feeling deceived. “In the state of Kansas I lost my head, sorry I didn’t come back/ In the state of Kansas, that’s where you said, you’d never turn your back.” As the song progresses, the feelings change to acceptance and a desire to move on. This is a skill The Harmed Brothers show throughout the record. The ability to tell a story, from beginning to end, in an interesting manner. The lyrics are heartfelt and coupled with the strong vocals, makes an effective combination. Strong lyricism gives music substance, and in the genre of folk/bluegrass, substance is key. In other genres, such as hip hop or pop, lackluster lyricism can be made up for with a beat. In folk, the words are at the forefront, and The Harmed Brothers deliver enough to keep you coming back.

Only their second record, Come Morning is a solid performance from this young Oregon group. Plenty of talent, but also plenty of growth to be had, The Harmed Brothers are a quartet to keep your eye on.

Standouts: “State of Kansas,” “Beast of the North West,” “The Very Best,” “We Might Not Have To Die,” “1951?

Grade: B - My Folking Heart

"The Harmed Brothers - Come Morning - Review"

Second album by these sons of Oregon features guitar, banjo, upright bass and drums, with "emotional" vocals popping up on the majority of the songs. Even the band admits it on their publicity - if you like Mumford & Sons then you're going to go GaGa for The Harmed Brothers. Well, and this is so often the case, yes but also no. There are superficial similarities between the two bands, and goodness knows the market should be big enough to accommodate two bluegrass tinged folk-pop bands (or IndieGrass as The Harmed Brothers style it), but scraping a little below the surface sound reveals that there are as many, if not even more, differences.
And the main and most important difference is that even when the vocals are at their most Marcus Mumford-like, the words are a long way removed from the somewhat self-indulgent poetic tracts of Mumford & Sons. The Harmed Brothers have a more straight forward approach to lyrics; not dumb but not buried under a flowery pile of multi-syllable pretentiousness.

There's love found and lost, there's a little playfulness with language "I might not be good at most things I do / but I am the very best at missing you" ("The Very Best"), and there's the epic grandeur of a mountainside which in itself is as great as "to be one of the first to see Jesus Christ without his beard". Whatever that means - but it doesn't stop "Oh the glory" from being a catchy song which boasts one of the best tunes of the album and surely the best vocal. Musically The Harmed Brothers are more at home with an upbeat tune carrying the song - whether it's lyrics are upbeat or not, for instance "Letter to Lisa" fair clips along despite the longing, miss you lyrics. So the piano only accompanied bonus track "1951" feels slow after all that has gone before. It's the combination of driving Indie acoustic guitar and fast rolling and sliding banjo that shapes the tunes this way. There really is much to enjoy on the album, and if you do like The Cole Porters, or Grassoline or, yes Mumford & Sons then you probably will also enjoy this well played set. If they can master misery that sounds like misery then they could easily move from "good" to "great". - AmericanaUK

"Americana Act The Harmed Brothers Find New Life in the Northwest"

It was just south of Eugene, a short jaunt from the Pacific Ocean in central Oregon, that The Harmed Brothers died and were reborn.

Guitarist Ray Vietti was on the band’s first national tour, and the opening act was an Oregon-based folk-guitar duo called Termite Dog, which included banjo player Alex Salcido. The road had worn The Harmed Brothers down, and Vietti’s bandmates opted to quit the road and return East.

Vietti, however, was determined to soldier on.

“It was our first tour, and we were blindly doing it, and they ended up going back to North Carolina,” Vietti told The Daily Times this week. “I knew that the two guys in Termite Dog were both talented, so I asked them if they could help me out. They said they’d loved to, and it turned out that it was more like me helping them out. As soon as that first strike on the banjo came and Alex’s voice collided with mine, I knew that this was it.

“This is what The Harmed Brothers really were: not just me on acoustic guitar with banjo and bass and drums and the bass player singing some harmony stuff. By adding Alex and combining his energy with mine, it’s just a complete rebirth.”

The Harmed Brothers play a brand of grizzled folk that sounds like a more rough-hewn version of Fleet Foxes, or The Avett Brothers with some scarring of the heart and coarsening of the vocal cords to temper their sweet harmonies. Vietti and Salcido aim for an emotional punch rather than musical perfection, and the result is a maelstrom of heartache and regret built around a pillar of hope. It’s gonna be alright in the world of The Harmed Brothers, but it’s gonna hurt before you get there.

The post-rebirth incarnation of the band adopted a minimalist approach to the songs; guitar, banjo and a crude drum set that featured a washboard on a snare stand, a kick drum and a ride cymbal. They cobbled together a set of Termite Dog and Harmed Brothers songs, taking the show to the Midwest before stepping back to evaluate their progress.

“It was very minimalist early on, but it was so appropriate at the time for us to hone it and find out who we were as songwriters,” Vietti said. “When we came back and reevaluated what we were doing, we both loved each other’s songs so much that we wanted to keep working together. Members would come and go, but Alex and I became the two focal points of the band. Our songwriting, individually and as a team, molded us into what we are and what we will become.

“Songwriting, for me, always happens very organically. I won’t have a melody in my head; I won’t have anything. I’ll just start strumming my guitar until something clicks, and then I’ll start writing and just go with it. I try not to let it drift away, and sometimes the songs just come rushing out.”

Two years ago, the guys released their debut album, “All the Lies You Want to Hear.” It reflected the idea that the songs should have room to breathe, but fans loved it; earlier this year, the group — which now includes Alec La Roche on bass and Ben Kilmer on drums, the two members who left the band to return to North Carolina but have since returned — released the full-length CD “Come Morning.”

“It’s been an idea of ours to make the album that’s a representation of the performance we give, at least as best we can,” Vietti said. “It’s our craft, our life: You get the heart and soul of The Harmed Brothers every time we step on stage, 110 percent. We’ve kind of fashioned it into more of a roller coaster now than it was in the beginning.

“We’ll get you up with some non-stop hooting and hollering, and you’ll be screaming right along with us, and then we’ll bring you down to where we were at the time we wrote a song. It’s just a whirlwind of emotions when we get up there, and for us, it’s a release. It’s a reminder of why we do what we do, why we’re so many miles form home and haven’t been back in so long.” - The Daily Times - Steve Wildsmith

"The Harmed Brothers"

Three piece band, The Harmed Brothers, is helping create a new genre they like to call "Indiegrass." Feeling the word Americana too vague, and eliminating what they are not - Punk, Country or Bluegrass, led to the hybridized moniker..... go to website to read full article - Bang Magazine

"Don't Go Out Un-Harmed"

t was roughly a year ago that The Harmed Brothers played the Jug-R-Not music festival in Cottage Grove. If you were intrigued by that event but didn’t want to make the 30-minute drive, now’s your chance to see the band right here in Eugene.

The Harmed Brothers call Cottage Grove home, but judging by the tour dates posted on their MySpace page, the whole country is soon going to know about them. The pair, Ray Vietti (guitar/vocals) and Alex Salcido (banjo/vocals/harmonica), are booked to perform nearly every day from the first of July to the end of September, from Coos Bay to Murphy, North Carolina. Fitting, since the band’s roots stretch that far as well.

The band has a twisted history: Vietti gave life to his folky, Americana songs with two others here in Cottage Grove in 2008 and took the band on the road. Soon after, two members, brothers, returned to North Carolina to be with their families. Vietti resumed life in Oregon and found Salcido and another musician, who also soon went his own way. Now, The Harmed Brothers are a lean and mean duo.

Vietti is a songwriter with many stories to tell, and this band has charm — wry observations, melodies not quite sonorous but still captivating, words sung with a slight warble, emotions wholly human. The band is celebrating the release of their brand new CD, All The Lies You Want To Hear. I’m hoping to hear the track “When I Return,” with the lines: “I’m falling fast like a bird that’s lost its feathers / That’s been pining for a note to deliver / When I get back we might not say a word / But will you still love me.” The Harmed Brothers and The Mamouth Life play at 10 pm Friday, July 9, at Luckey’s. - Eugene Weekly


I have been waiting on this post for a while. I have only had it since early June, but I feel like I have been waiting a long time as I have wanted to tell everyone about this album. This album came out of nowhere for me, I didn’t know of the brothers harm prior and now I constantly listen to them. This is a band of traditional Americana if I ever heard one. I only think of the heartland of the USA when I hear them. They might be based back in Cottage Grove, Oregon and that is close enough to dusty plains as they need to be. All The Lies Songs You Wanna Hear, yes.

So I don’t know too much about the boys, but there is a pretty good biography of the band on their MySpace – it tells of the beginning in Oregon, the coming and going of members, the return to Oregon and the rebirth of the band and new album that is banjo, country, ass kicking at times and real down to earth music that works in headphones and on a stage with drink in hand. Sometimes when you listen to bands you feel like they might be trying too hard or maybe they haven’t fully meshed yet…this is nowhere to be found on this new break out album.

The Harmed Brothers today consist of founding member Donnie Vietti and Alex Salcido and having not heard previous versions of the band, I believe they just might have found something that needs to be heard, heard a lot. So, as you can see I really like these two “brothers” sound and by the look of many of the photos on their MySpace page, I think that they might be the kinda guys you wanna know as well as listen to!

I don’t have the official release date to purchase, but will update when I confirm – but seriously, seek them out, email them, see them on tour this summer (see below). Listen to one of my favourite tracks from the album below as a taster and hopefully soon you will have an opportunity to fall in love with the album as well. -

"The Harmed Brothers - Critics Pick"

Maybe you've seen the photos from Washington Square in New York circa 1958 or so, with those fresh-faced college kids wailing out "Tom Dooley" while strumming banjos, ukuleles and eternally acoustic guitars. Ray Vietti (originally from the small, northern Missouri town of Marceline) and Alex Salcido, a.k.a. the Harmed Brothers, are young enough to be the grandkids of those folkies. Still, the Cottage Grove, Oregon-based songwriters would have fit right in with the revivalists. With its harmonica racks, Appalachian obsessions and kicked-out-of-the-choir harmonies, the Harmed Brothers isn't afraid to sound as sentimental as a campfire, as out of tune as pre-stardom Avett Brothers or as punch-drunk as that notorious trio from Belleville, Illinois. The duo even has a song called "Ode to Uncle Tupelo" — and it means every word. - St. Louis River Front Times - Roy Kasten

"The Harmed Brothers - All the Lies You Wanna Hear"

The Harmed Brothers come from small-town Oregon and write songs that have an Appalachian feel about them. It is very rare that I care for banjo work that isn't of the Scruggs style, but Alex Salcido gets two thumbs up from me for his style on the Harmed Brothers album All The Lies You Wanna Hear. Many times I hear "Americana" albums that sound like someone said "Hey, we need a banjo track on this song," so one was added. The songs on ATLYWH depend on the banjo and would be nowhere near as powerful without it. The banjo, along with Salcido's and Ray Vietti's vocals and lyrics make for a minimalist sound that creates an emptiness that will leave you hitting repeat, especially on the tracks below. Check them out and buy the CD here, and be sure to check their myspace for upcoming shows. No Kentucky dates yet though... - In My Basement Room

"The Harmed Brothers - Better Days Review"

When we talk about musical performances being ‘heartfelt’ it points to the fact that the emotional radiation draws the listener into the world the musician is trying to portray. The Harmed Brothers define ‘heartfelt’ more than most with their two peerless lead vocalists who despite the excellence of the songwriting and playing are defined by the strength and depth of feeling of those quite compelling vocals.

I’ve often seen this excellent band compared to Uncle Tupelo but I only see this in terms of having two high quality lead vocalists and their own individual sound that doesn’t, as with their excellent debut album ‘Come Morning,’ bring anyone else to mind. Whereas UT brought a strong punk element to their country music the Harmed Brothers, if anything, have some bluegrass in their makeup but with a lot of folksiness, alt. country, old timey and various other indeterminate influences.

This tight knit band, as with their last album, consists of Ray Vietti on guitar and lead vocals, Alex Salcido on banjo and also lead vocals plus piano and guitar. Zach Kilmer is on upright bass and Ben Kilmer on drums, with all of the songs being band co writes with the exception of Under The Axe by Alex Salcido and Guthrie McClenny, and the album was recorded at Native Sound Studios, St. Louis, Missouri. The vocals are their strongest suit, with the songwriting almost as excellent and the instrumentation seems to be better balanced than on ‘Come Morning,’ ultimately moving this album several notches above it’s predecessor! It doesn’t matter which of the two takes the lead vocal the quality remains pretty much peerless, overall creating an atmosphere on just about every song, that has an incredibly raw emotional feel that few if any other bands can match.

Album opener When You See Me is a superb mid tempo tale of yearning for a lost love, driven by excellent banjo and guitar that have the well balanced support of bass and drums plus the excellent warm evocative vocals and harmonies. A great start, but even this is surpassed by the quite stunning Sky Cracked A Smile, on which the lead vocalist changes but the vocals are still incredible as are the harmonies, with a similar instrumentation supplemented by piano on an intensely sad ballad that is full of heartfelt emotion and has a sparse alt. country feel. A real beauty of a tale that truly is a stunner and depending on the listeners mood can actually put a powerful drain on the emotions, thanks to the intensely dramatic tale and performance! Never Went Away is a lovely slow shuffling song with the usual great vocals, led by banjo but with bass, guitar and snare not far behind on this simple love song that as with most of their music is full of little subtleties that draw the listener in. This is followed by the excellent mid tempo piano driven title song, Better Days, with the usual quite uplifting vocals on a tale that is fully immersed in alt. country. Final mention is for Love Song For The Assumed, an unusual song with banjo, keyboards, excellent bass, hand claps and a repetitive vocal that gradually inveigles itself into the consciousness as the slow burning intensity gradually builds.

This incredible album just seems to get better with every listening session. It is an album that with it’s generally sparse instrumentation and arrangements proves that if the songs and particularly the vocals are good enough simplicity really is the key! The songs are often uplifting despite much sadness, but ultimately perhaps they put a huge drain on the emotions as the listener is carried along by a tide of almost ethereal beauty. Sadly, in many ways, these tales can never really be sung by anyone else, such is the perfection of the performances and lyrics. I gave their previous album 3.5 stars, which I thought signalled a very good album. This offering leaves that album far, far behind! I actually now put this band up there with the Sumner Brothers and the Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit. I really can’t come up with higher praise! - American Roots UK

"Better Days Review"

When you come across a band like The Harmed Brothers, whose new album "Better Days" strikes such an immediate impression, it further reinforces the notion that indeed, there's a lot of great talent lying latent in the heartland, primed for discovery. Their third album in as many years, it also underscores the uncertainty of why bands this good can remain unknown to the world at large. Whether chalked up to lack of promotion, the enormity of competition, radio's refusal to accept new talent or simply a malaise due to public indifference, the fact that The Harmed Brothers haven't achieved the popularity of, say, The Avett Brothers or The Lumineers remains as baffling as it is frustrating.

It's not that The Harmed Brothers - who, by the way, aren't brothers at all, but simply a midwestern quartet comprised of four like-minded musicians - are pushing any envelopes. Their earnest, good-natured vibe is honest and inspired, devoid of posturing and pretence. Unassuming to a fault, their rambling, banjo-plucked melodies make songs like When You See Me,Love Song for the Assumed, Better Days and Sky Cracked a Smile a model for sweet yet sturdy sentiment. And while the Avetts could be considered a role model - and an able one at that - the occasional hint of Jackson Browne informs some of these tracks, the low cast Never Went Away in particular.

Admittedly, The Harmed Brothers aren't going to set a new standard or redefine the norm, but the fact that the new album manages to sustain its consistent quality with such a steady sway makes this band especially worthy of watching. - Country Standard Time

"Better Days Review"

Folk quartet The Harmed Brothers seem to be workaholics. Though they’ve been a band for barely four years, they’ve released three full-lengths, with Better Days being the latest installment, arriving less than a year and a half after their sophomore disc, Come Morning.

The Oregon-based group takes pride in their Americana roots, lovingly referring to themselves as “indie-grass,” which may be the simplest yet best way to describe their music. The LP is heavily laced with the cheery twang of bluegrass-inspired strings and soft, toe-tapping melodies. Zach Kilmer, who splits the rhythm section with drummer and brother Ben Kilmer, even plays an upright bass that is very present throughout the record. “Sky Cracked A Smile” is a perfect example of this, with a piano thrown into the mix, producing a natural, classic honky-tonk sound.

Lyricism is one of Better Days‘ most prominent features. Each of the 10 tracks greets the listener with another heartfelt tale delivered by either Ray Vietti or Alex Salcido, both who share songwriting duties. The two have a knack for imagery and can easily transport their audience into the world which they are describing. In “Carolina,” Vietti coos during the chorus, “You make the tall trees shake/You make that earth quake/You make hummingbirds sing out of tune.” The track “Ballad Of Probably Not” is also lyrically rich, telling a story of a man questioning his own intentions and his relationships with the people in his life.

For fans of modern folk-inspired indie rock alike, this record will not disappoint. It takes the same elements found in past endeavors from The Harmed Brothers and continues in that direction, serving as the next chapter in their sure to be long discography. - The Aquarian Weekly

"Better Days Review"

The Harmed Brothers - Better Days (Fluff and Gravy Records)

Of late it’s seemed that what we came to love as Cosmic American Music has lost much of its lustre - the initial thrill of hearing country folk and blues fired up by young pretenders full of punk spirit having given way to predictable and derivative fusions of all-too familiar phrases.

It’s to their credit therefore that The Harmed Brothers, without any pretence at re-inventing the wheel, are breathing much-needed new life into its flagging form. It helps that founder members Ray Vietta and Alex Salcido have such first rate roots-rock voices: gritty and grounded with the occasional affecting warble, which work especially well in harmony (see ‘Sky Cracked a Smile’ and ’Carolina’). As mid-paced acoustic goes, their songs are relentlessly driven, an extravagant emphasis on lead banjo as much as guitar helping to encase a defiantly rock and roll soul within a deeply traditional body.

Personal and plaintive themes are handled sensitively rather than mawkishly (‘Never Went Away’, ‘Better Days’), and the overall succeeds in being simultaneously evocative, romantic and undeniably exciting. It works so well on occasion that their best compositions and vocal performances combine to summon the spirit of The Band (‘Under the Axe’ for example), although for closer reference points it might be more pertinent to look to Uncle Tupelo’s ‘March 16-20 1992’ and the Jayhawks’ ‘Tomorrow the Green Grass’. - Leicester Bangs Blog

"Better Days Review"

On the surface, The Harmed Brothers might seem like another Americana band. Sure enough, banjos, mandolins, and harmonicas pepper their sound, and singer Ray Vietti has a great bluegrass voice. Their new release, Better Days, shows that they can spice up the mix and stand out from the bland crowd of modern folk.

They describe their sound as “indiegrass,” an appropriate term considering their roots, taking inspiration from Ryan Adams and Wilco. (Plot twist: the band is from Eugene, Oregon.) Guitar shuffles and major-key progressions typify their style, as is obvious tracks like “Sky Cracked a Smile,” where Vietti layers his alligatored midrange atop narrative lyrics with a campfire chorus. “Never Went Away” is a great example of what the band does well. The song opens with banjo as a sort of prelude to a full-band ballad with a jaunty refrain. Alex Salcido’s banjo playing is showcased here, revealing how good he is at it. He has a talent for sprinkling scalar lines into the Brothers’ tunes.

The optimism of the album peaks at the title track––a genuine, hopeful ditty about seeing an old friend again. It’s an old topic, yes, but a tried and true one. The band’s honesty is inherent in their music, crafting simple songs that have a lot to say. Their lyrics stand out as the basis of their creations, embossing themselves with a country ethos and direct delivery.

The last few songs of the album are a different entity, sticking to the folky nature of the album but with a more dramatic twist. “Ballad of Probably Not” begins with reflective harmonies that form a sonic space unexpected of their style. A piano tinkle enters halfway through and complements the instrumentation. This has got to be huge when played live. “Caverns” is the strongest track on the album, channeling a little City and Colour with soft piano and acoustic guitar paired with a smoother, more somber tone Vietti. Lyrically, it laments in a way all too accessible for the listener. Not only is it relatable, but it lives up to its name, being simultaneously large and hollow.

While they often stick to structural archetypes, The Harmed Brothers find ways of injecting their own brand, marked by alt-country music and earthy vocals. Better Days will no doubt be welcome among the Americana scene, though listeners outside that genre might find it a tad average. They play well for their designated audience and might even have a small crossover audience, but their real strength is in their unadulterated rawness.

Rating: 7.0/10
MP3: The Harmed Brothers “Never Went Away”
Buy: iTunes

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"Coachella Valley Weekly Interview"


by Robin Linn

Founded in Missouri by Ray Vietti, The Harmed Brothers didn’t fully blossom into the beautiful unit they are today until Ray met up with musical soul mate Alex Salcido in Eugene, Oregon. If it was fate that brought them together, it seems to be their love for creating their very own sound that keeps them that way. THB blends the discipline of bluegrass with the looseness and freedom of rock and roll by combining the intricate stringed sounds of banjo, guitar, upright bass together with keyboards and drums. Their live show is energetic and inspired. Sweet layered harmonies singing their hearts, the band crisscrosses America winning fans and making friends, one town at a time. The interplay between Ray (guitar) and Alex (banjo and keys) is exciting to watch. They take their recorded ideas and bravely expand them in the live setting. The band also features Troy Broat (upright bass) and drummer Ben Kilmer, providing a fiery and dynamic rhythm section. Additionally, THB is known to include guest artists, part of their nationwide music family, depending on where they are when they perform the magic. They have been cited as having created a similar dynamic fueled by many of Americana stalwart Uncle Tupelo’s early offerings to the Americana music movement. As the band has progressed, they have strengthened and crafted their own musical voice, making them refreshing and truly unique unto themselves.

They are far from jaded, but rather wide-eyed and grateful for the travel, the fans and the freedom to create their own musical visions before welcoming audiences. Their latest record Better Days reveals tender emotion, well-crafted ideas, and fine musicianship. Last summer I caught THB at P&H and was both engaged and moved. . An evening with The Harmed Brothers can transport the listener to the woodsy haven of Oregon almost instantaneously. I have never been to Oregon (YET), but feel as if I can almost taste the sweet air and smell the forest while listening to their last two records, Better Days and All The Lies You Wanna Hear. The band is taking off for the road now and on March 6th they will perform a free show in the high desert at Pappy & Harriet’s. I asked The Harmed Brothers a few questions so they might share with us their insightful approach to creating and performing.

RL: Tell us about some of the high and low points of traveling about as you do?

THB: There is a great high that comes from jumping in the van and getting out there to do what you love with your friends and meeting back up with all sorts of wonderful people state to state. Knowing that you’re living on your our terms. The harsh realities of van breakdowns, monetary uncertainty and loneliness among other things can weigh heavy on a person in a traveling band. However, being able to do what we love makes up for those hurdles. It all makes us stronger and better people.

RL: How long has this lineup been firmly in place?

THB: We have more of a bullpen than a lineup. The Harmed Brothers at its core are the two of us, and we have a terrific bullpen full of friends across the country that’ll join us here and there. It just so happens that the great friends and musicians we bring out with us sometimes can’t be there for everything. Some have loved ones and families and responsibilities back home, some just end up not being cut out for road life. We’ve taken on a lot of different skins throughout the years. That’s kind of where the name “The Harmed Family Roadshow” originated; less of a lineup, more of a big family.

RL: How many records have you recorded together now?

THB: Better Days is our third record together. Our first record, All The Lies You Wanna Hear, was independently released in 2010. Our second record, Come Morning, was released in 2012.

RL: Do you find you are expanding your musical concepts as you play together longer?

THB: We like to work off each other’s material whenever we can. When we began writing for the album Better Days, we showed each other what we’d been working on that season we’d spent away from each other, usually off tour. We found that we’d been writing towards the same subjects – Mending, acceptance, letting go. Vices, death, what have you. From there, we were able to build upon those ideas and concepts. If we weren’t writing songs together, one of us would write a response to the other’s song, or find something that would bring you back to those ideas full circle. That’s how “Love Song For The Assumed” became something of a companion piece to Better Days. We’ve come a long way from it being a band being split down the middle between songwriters. We’re in a good place where things feel less like an Alex song, or a Ray song, but more like Harmed Brothers songs. As for musically expanding as a full outfit, it’s a matter of slow and steady winning the race. Every album, we’ll want to incorporate a new element and not wear it out. Our first record was an acoustic record, the second one brought in the full band element and the third sharpened that, while incorporating more keys and vocals. It’s been very rewarding to be able to slowly and steadily build our sound, not letting our minds run too far away from us, which can easily happen.

RL: What well do you draw upon for lyrical content?

THB: Experience, wonder, road-lag, life on the road. The ideas of home and comfort, what they are, what they used to be, whether those things be in a structure or a person.

RL: I often feel that the environment one writes and creates in can affect the music greatly. It’s sort of environmental. If you create and live in the desert, there is certain mood or aura to the music that it produces. How do you feel Oregon has influenced your sound?

THB: There’s a great deal of Oregon in our first record. The aura of All The Lies… was a foresty, woodsy one because it was simply guitar, banjo, vocals and percussion. The cover is a drawing of a wounded bird soaring over green fields next to a giant tree stump and an ax driven into it. That record has Oregon written all over it musically and aesthetically. It was recorded in the tiny little forest town of Cottage Grove, Oregon where we met. Come Morning was the Oregon/Midwest/North Carolina record. That record in its own right was that “Oregon band” getting into a vehicle, getting out of the forest and on to the road, towards town, towards the big cities. And they brought their friends with them. The cover for that was the dawn’s early light shining up through the hills, a lot of hope in that with a lot of work to be done. Better Days is a travelogue. It covers numerous places we’ve been to and lived in, as well as places we’ve yet to experience but want to. You go through the big city, up the river, through the valleys and the sound is slightly bigger. Like that band finally reached the big city. The story isn’t over but they reached the lights and traffic and the noise. The cover even gives you that feeling; a man on a couch yawning in front of a large dreamlike city-scape. Very surreal. We’ve been steadily working and creating in so many different environments, some in very short amounts of time so Oregon hasn’t really tainted what we do. It’s as part of us as is every home we’ve ever had. One place can’t taint your sound or your art unless you allow it to.

RL: What does 2014 hold for The Harmed Brothers?

THB: Lots of touring, lots of traveling, festivals galore. We’ve been working on new material and we’re sure a lot of that will be fleshed out along the road. March kicks off our first full tour of the year. Last year was pretty hectic and trying but incredibly fulfilling. We intend to visit a lot of places we haven’t been before, to make new friends and gain new experiences.

“Unlike the unmussed fashion-grass coming from the Mumfords of the world, there’s something rusty and raw in the Harmed Brothers’ songs, something hungry and a little wild-eyed.” – Portland Mercury

“Melding indie rock fervor with the intricate fretwork of bluegrass, the band steer their way through both genres without slowing and manage to come out on the other side with something unique and wholly their own.” – Beats Per Minute

“For fans of modern folk-inspired indie rock alike, this record will not disappoint.” – The Aquarian

“Fans of Uncle Tupelo and Avett Brothers, pull up a chair and sit a spell.” – The Big Takeover

“Grab a glass of warm cider and settle in; this album is an instant love.” Performer Magazine

“The fact that The Harmed Brothers haven’t achieved the popularity of, say, The Avett Brothers or The Lumineers remains as baffling as it is frustrating.” – Country Standard Time - Coachella Valley Weekly


All The Lies You Wanna Hear - 2010

Come Morning - 2012

Better Days - 2013



Nestled between the rolling farmland of Oregon’s Willamette Valley and the impossibly tall trees further south, the gold and timber town of Cottage Grove has always drawn an eclectic mix of dreamers, drifters and prophets to its downtown Main Street.   

 For about a decade now, many of these frontier misfits have gathered to carouse and quench their thirst at the Axe & Fiddle Pub, and if the Harmed Brothers owe the path they’ve forged these past few years to any particular beer-soaked barroom along the way, it’s got to be the Fiddle.

 It’s more than likely the place where, in early 2009, singer/songwriter Ray Vietti — already the veteran of one ambitious but ill-fated musical dream — first encountered Alex Salcido, and it’s probably where the two musicians first decided to jam. Soon enough, Vietti would come to recognize Salcido as a kindred spirit in both vision and song, and the young tunesmith would help write the Harmed Brothers saga with an insightful, often wistful lyrical and instrumental voice that offers a fitting complement to Vietti’s gritty baritone and powerful chords.

 The fledgling duo paused in the Grove for a moment, gathering steam, trading tunes and talking possibilities, performing for crowds there and in nearby Eugene before striking out for the open road — their second home ever since and the undeniable inspiration for many of the songs and stories to follow.  

 Soon after their first meeting, Vietti and Salcido quickly recorded and released their independent debut, “All The Lies You Wanna Hear,” and began to tell the tales of love, loss, hard-drinking and redemption that have since endeared them to legions of fans and fellow musicians.

 In 2011, the Harmed Brothers’ evolution as songwriters and as a touring act showed through with their sophomore effort, “Come Morning,” a release from Oklahoma-based Lackpro Records that sways with the rhythms of the road and the forlorn waltzes of a nation’s dive bars and dance halls.

 These days, they call it “indiegrass,” the rustic American musical blend that celebrates and chronicles the physical and emotional gauntlet the Harmed Brothers have always ridden, zigzagging endlessly in vans across the nation. It’s an inclusive sound, the melding of two unique voices adorned each night with the contributions of the many pickers, singers and songwriters the Brothers have encountered in their travels.

 It’s known as the “Harmed Family Roadshow,” and it’s as much a nightly happening as a sound in constant flux — from a jangly acoustic three-piece one night to a manic mariachi string band the next, a wall of rock-and-roll bombast at times giving way to the whispered incantations of two folk troubadours, often within the span of a single song. 

 Two years more on the road brought a European tour and a host of new fans, and by 2013, Salcido and Vietti stood poised to offer their most ambitious album to date. “Better Days,” recorded in a St. Louis studio and released by Portland, Oregon-based Fluff and Gravy Records, draws inspiration from themes of personal growth and redemption as well as the hurdles, heartbreaks and mishaps that have always accompanied the traveler’s search for enlightenment. Praised as “honest and inspired, devoid of posturing and pretense,” “Better Days” features some of the Harmed Brothers’ deepest grooves and their most plaintive and enduring tunes to date.

 In the winter of 2015, the “Harmed Family Roadshow” gathered together in all its tattered glory in Portland, Oregon, the Brothers’ adopted home and headquarters, to begin amassing the riffs and recollections that will become their definitive recorded work. Due from Fluff and Gravy in early 2016, the album draws from the tales and talents of many of the duo’s closest collaborators and dearest friends. It promises textures never before captured on a Harmed Brothers release, brought together by the two visions and voices that propel the band toward an inspired and undeniable future.

Band Members