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HARPER SIMON ~ Imbued With a Musical Soul

Harper SimonOn October 13th, skilled troubadour Harper Simon, who adeptly utilizes the fabled vocal gift inherited from his father Paul Simon, releases his debut album to the world – 10 tracks paying tribute to the hallowed long play format and the seamless arc and structure that it traditionally has brought us when executed correctly.

Harper recorded his new album in Nashville, New York and Los Angeles with a storied cast of collaborators including multi-generational legends that you’ll hear numerous audio fingerprints of throughout the record.

Notable names include legendary producer Bob Johnston (Dylan, Cash, Cohen), as well as gifted talents Inara George, Aaron Espinoza (Earlimart), Petra Haden, Sean Lennon, Yuka Honda, Eleni Mandell, Joan Wasser (Joan as Policewoman), Steve Nieve (Elvis Costello), Steve Gadd; not to mention a large number of Nashville session legends, and naturally, his father Paul Simon. 

In one standout track, “Shooting Star” Harper evokes natural imagery seemingly born out of the bedrock, while a slide guitar wanders underneath his haunting vocals, conjuring up memories of groups such as Oregon’s Blitzen Trapper, or the California soul of the Byrds and Mother Hips.

“The Northern Winds have found their home high above the timber line,
but you and I were born to roam to wander through the whistling pines”


Another track, “The Audit” showcases another side of Harper’s vocals, eerily reminiscent of Elliott Smith or even Neil Young, but with the trademark vocals that are familiarly from the Simon vocal tree.  While listening my placement of the time frame of recording was somewhat indistinguishable, recollecting another era of recording mixing modern technology with classic sounds and style. The song has a melancholy hum-along feel mixed with what was discerned as flute, horn and violin – superbly placed by the notable producers and Nashville players surrounding the album’s creation.

“You see yourself in photographs from winters past, remembering the days in your hometown”


Other album highlights: “Cactus Flower Rag”, “Wishes and Stars”, and the beautiful and wistful closing track,  “Berkeley Girl”.  Please see the two highlight videos we’ve selected from his collection below, the first a show at Largo featuring a performance by the Chapin Sisters, as well as a cover version of the Nick Drake track, “From the Morning”.