Show Ponies member Jason Hawk Harris (Los Angeles) is touring solo in the wake of his EP Formaldehyde, Tobacco, and Tulips and will be swinging through Seattle to play Fremont Abbey Nov. 18th. He’s bringing Novel Ideas (Boston), and Curtis McMurtry (Austin) (son of Texas legend James McMurtry, and grandson of legendary screenwriter and novelist Larry Mcmurty, if you’re countin’) with him. It’s a nice bill full of young upstarts from whereabouts?, and parts unknown, and we want to show them a good time here in the big city.
Harris shows strength and maturity on his latest EP, with rocky, revelatory honky-tonkers. His voice and playing are what the good stuff are made of, but what’s most intriguing here is his writing. From the opiate title, to the sweetly sung ballads, with energetic, stomping piano, to moody, sustained electric guitar. Hawk is in a softly treaded country-folk zone here: most songs are about falling in our out of love, but Harris’ songs are about being in love. On I’m Afraid Harris also heads up a gospel revival finding fear in the holy ghost, and making brave sonic choices. The piano becomes the churning undertow one succumbs to when wandering off the path, and like most mortals Harris has his come to Jesus moment shouting “Lord, I’m Afraid”. It’s a welcome Pentecostal preacher that’ll have you dancing in the aisles.
Harris lets ballads catch fire and heated emotions cool off. His gospel is pretty on point, and the strength of his singing is going to make him an interesting one to watch.
McMurty released a great new album this year too, called The Hornet’s Nest, check it out before you head to the show.