Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Harper July Blog "Stand Together" CD hits number 10

Hey everyone,

The month of June brought us some exciting news. The new CD "Stand Together" (Blind Pig Records) is now number 10 on the national US blues charts (Roots Music Report) & climbing. Thanks to you all for getting us to such a great position. Its an amazing achievement considering that I am a harmonica/ didgeridoo playing dude from Australia.

Our show at The Flint Art Fair, home of our drummer Marc Dixon, was sweltering hot. Our performance at The Ann Arbor Summer Festival in Michigan was cut short by tornado warning sirens. Thankfully no tornadoes hit the area but the storm was very fierce and we were lucky to arrive home in one piece.

We didn't do too many shows this month as I needed to get my Dodge Sprinter Van repaired due to the accident we had in May. We were worried about the transmission, as the engine was making some strange noises, but we were assured by the Dodge mechanic that the transmission was in good shape. Famous last words, so as to speak!!!!. On our way to Burlington, Iowa for a show at The Washington with the band Indigenous, my van just died on a little back road just north of Carthage, Illinois. With very little phone service and not knowing what to do, we were blessed by the arrival of a complete stranger who hooked us up with a tow and a mechanic. Bobbi then called our good friend Matt Eimer who was the music director for the Simply the Blues Festival in Fort Madison. Matt came to the rescue with only one hour's sleep. He turned up with his truck and horse trailer and his son followed with a mini van. Matt's incredible generosity enabled us to make it to our shows in Burlington, Iowa and the Bear Creek Blues Festival in Slater, Missouri. Matt even let us drive his mini van back to Michigan, where we now await the verdict of our sick Sprinter, which had to be towed to Peoria, Illinois. We hope our insurance company will cover the repairs. I still can't believe that these kind people came to our rescue without a moment's notice. A huge thank you to Matt and his son Josh and that kind lady who to stopped to help us and even let us use her phone. Many thanks also to the Riverbend band who let us use their drum kit and bass rig at the Bear Creek Blues Fest.

We have a summer packed with many great festivals which will take us to New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Quebec, Canada, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri, Massachusetts and Maine. For those in the New England area we have an open date on Saturday September 4 (Labor Day Weekend), so if anyone would like my band and I to play at their summer party, please let me know. Hope to see you all out on the road this summer.


Harper & Midwest Kind (Official Harper Website) CDs, E Book & T Shirt orders (for live video clips) (just for chatting) (for CD orders & downloads)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Harper June Blog

Hey Everyone,

Well May was a month of trials, tribulations and triumphs. The month began with a great show with Rootstand at The Savoy in Michigan. We then drove to North Carolina and had a fabulous four days at The LEAF Festival in Black Mountain. We saw some amazing performers: The Blind Boys Of Alabama, Ozomatli, Big Sam's Funky Nation and many more. The festival hospitality was unbelievable - the food was just incredible- organic and tasty yum yum good. We also made didgeridoos out of PVC pipes with the Kids of the Montessori School who then performed with us at the festival, which was alot of fun. The next week was spent in PA, upstate New York, York Beach, Maine and Hartford, Connecticut. We then made the big drive south to Florida. On May 16 we celebrated the 200, 000 mile mark on our faithful 2005 dodge sprinter (nick named-the silver bullet). The next day, whilst driving through North Carolina in torrential rain, an out of control speeding driver aquaplaned across highway 85 south. All we saw was a glimpse of a Ford Taurus doing 360 degree spins towards our van. With a loud bang, we came to a sudden halt on the side of the highway. The Ford Taurus then bounced back across the highway. We were all shaken but not hurt and amazingly the female driver of the Ford was OK too, but her car was totaled. The passenger side of our Dodge Sprinter sustained damage on every panel and the middle door was almost impossible to open. We were very lucky and thankfully we were able to close that middle door, so we were able to continue our tour.

It was such a relief to arrive at the Paradise Inn, Pensacola Beach, Florida that evening. We had a few days to chill out and to gather our thoughts. On May 18 the new CD "Stand Together" was released through Blind Pig Records and we celebrated with a show at The Paradise Inn. The next day we were invited for a sail by our new friend Frank Toney around the inlet in Pensacola, we were joined by our Texan friend Michelle Sukup. Thankfully the huge BP oil slick near Louisiana hadn't reached Pensacola Beach- so it was a beautiful day. We had some more great shows at The Bradfordville Blues Club in Tallahassee, Ms Newbies in Panama City Beach, The Celtic Ray in Punta Gorda and the Riverfront Music Festival in Sebastian. Florida was hot and humid and the shows were alot of fun. We even caught up with former drummer Scott Key at the festival and made many new friends. Our final show took place at Buckingham Exceptional Student Center for the special needs kids in Fort Myers. For me this was the highlight of our tour. When you see these exceptional students in action, you realize it is they who are the mountain climbers.

Just yesterday on our way to Maryville, Tennessee, we saw a huge lightning bolt hit a tree on the side of highway 75 just north of Atlanta during a powerful storm. Its loud boom sounded like an explosion and it scared the hell out of us. Man this tour has been quite the trip!

On a positive note. The new CD "Stand Together" is getting rave reviews far and wide and is already getting airplay on Sirius/ XM Bluesville and is due to become a pick to click very soon. So please request a track at your local radio stations to help us chart on the national radio charts. UK's Blues Matters Magazine has added the new CD to its top ten discs for 2010. There will also be a feature article in the Alternative Root this month- So life is good! Hope to see you out on the road this summer.


Harper & Midwest Kind (Official Harper Website) CDs, E Book & T Shirt orders (for live video clips) (just for chatting) (for CD orders & downloads)