Harper and Midwest Kind Acoustic Trio wsg Doug Beckman
Franke Center for the Arts, Marshall, Michigan
Jan. 8, 2016, 7 p.m.
Tickets: $16 in advance, $18 at the door
Friday, Jan. 8, the Affinity Series concert will feature the Harper and Midwest Kind Acoustic Trio. This show will offer a rare opportunity to sample Harper’s outstanding harmonica skills in an intimate acoustic show. Joined by Will Rideoutt on guitar and James Norris on bass, this promises to be an entertaining evening of roots/blues music, featuring one of the best harmonica players you will find anywhere.
Born in the U.K., Harper began a musical journey early, performing in brass bands playing the trumpet and euphonium. At the age of ten, his family moved half way around the world to Perth, Western Australia, and his father introduced Harper to the harp. In Perth, one of the most isolated cities in the world, there was a thriving blues and folk scene. The blues had a rawness, an honesty and a passion of the soul which spoke to Harper deeply.
Prior to his introduction to American audiences, Harper released six albums to great acclaim in his homeland of Australia. His prolific recording career and memorable stage performances allowed Harper to take his music beyond Australia. He’s played in the U.S.A., Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium and France, creating an amalgamation of blues, rock, funk, soul and world music. Australian singer/ songwriter “Harper” creates a heady mix of roots music through his creative use of the harmonica and the haunting drone of the didgeridoo.
By combining traditional and modern influences, borrowing from Western and Aboriginal music, Harper has created a highly original take on the roots genre which many have labeled “World Blues”. His innovative use of electronic enhancement and feedback breaks the traditional boundaries of the harmonica, giving his music its distinctive harmonics and effects. The powerful guitar sounds and the unique drone of the didgeridoo create raw yet eerie sonic textures, somehow sounding primal and contemporary at the same time. “No Depression” magazine’s Rod Ames adds that “Harper has written and arranged some of the most soulful blues rock filled music I’ve heard in quite some time”.
Tickets can be purchased at frankecenterforthearts.org, or by calling the box office at 269-781-0001.