I got my mojo working with the Harris Brothers. Balsam Range pulled into the Darin and Brooke Aldridge Festival in Cherryville, NC never expecting what we’d soon hear. The talent was great that day; Darin and Brooke with their great band and the legendary JD Crowe and the New South. They are all so incredible but it was great to have a non-bluegrass act at a festival for a wonderful break in the sound.
Two guys, Reggie and Ryan Harris, boiled out of a jeep with instruments not even in cases and hit the stage as a duo. Sometimes this can be somewhat disappointing amidst high caliber, five-piece, bands like Darin and JD. But they were equally as good in a totally different way and sound. They did blues, bluegrass, old-time, country, jazz, gospel, and funk; and played each form at an expert level! They are so talented and musically mature, that as duo they make more music than 99% of professional touring bands.
They had the crowd in the palms of their hands (including all the other musicians in attendance that day). I had never heard anything like it. So great – just bass, guitar, two incredible voices, and an old suitcase that doubled as a kick drum. I was honored when they asked Darin and myself to share the stage for a few tunes (unrehearsed by the way). We encored and it was musically a career highlight for me. I am a fan of all forms of music. We became instant friends and still play together on occasion (every chance I get). They are such genuine, nice people and so humble about their massive amount of talent. The crowd could totally sense they were the real deal and were witnessing something special.
Bluegrass fans will not generally seek out entertainers like the Harris Brothers but when they were force fed a big dose they could not help but love it. I realized watching them that day it wasn’t about a flashy stage show, corny jokes, the commercial music we’re exposed to, but when two super-talented people get the chance to do their thing….nothing will ever entertain better than the real thing. I will forever be a fan of the Harris Brothers.