Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|David Ryan Harris|
David Ryan Harris is an Atlanta, Georgia based singer-songwriter. Born in Evanston, Illinois, Harris moved to Atlanta at a young age. Harris has had a varied career as a musician. He is married and has 3 sons: Miles, Life,... more »
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David Ryan Harris is an Atlanta, Georgia based singer-songwriter. Born in Evanston, Illinois, Harris moved to Atlanta at a young age. Harris has had a varied career as a musician. He is married and has 3 sons: Miles, Life, and River. He is represented exclusively by Jim Phelan and Jerimaya Grabher at Global Positioning Services in Santa Monica, CA.
Influences: Harris has cited artists including Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, and Prince as influences. His solo music ranges in genre from folk to Rhythm and Blues.
Career: Harris has been performing on stage since the 1980s when he served as frontman for the Atlanta rock group Follow for Now. Harris' eclectic taste in music is apparent in the band's music, which shows influences ranging from Motown to thrash metal. Follow for Now was given a record deal through Chrysalis Records and after working with producer Brendan O'Brien, released an unsuccessful self-titled album. The band members parted ways in 1994.
Solo career: After a short period out of the limelight, Harris began working as a producer and featured guitarist with Dionne Farris, a former vocalist from hip-hop group Arrested Development. Harris' guitar work can be heard throughout Farris' 1995 album Wild Seed, Wild Flower.
Harris worked with Farris until he launched his solo career in 1997. He reunited with Brendan O'Brien and was signed to Columbia Records, where the two would produce Harris' solo debut. While the album was praised by critics, Harris' range of musical influences made the album difficult to sell and he soon moved on to his next project.
After the breakup with The Brand New Immortals in 2002, he continued going solo. He released two more albums : Soulstice (2003) and The Bittersweet (2006)
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Here's a follow-up I got excited about...
Kevin Rienecker | Portland, OR USA | 07/04/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"... And then came the disappointment.
Having been a big fan of David Ryan Harris's old funk/rock band, Follow For Now, and then loving his self-titled solo effort (and the related Four Songs sampler EP), I was intrigued to learn of three other solo albums after his mostly disappointing effort with the band, the Brand New Immortals, and their only album to date, Tragic Show. Based entirely on the strength of FFN and DRH, I forged blindly ahead and ordered copies of Soulstice and Atlanta without hearing a morsel of either album, and pre-ordered Harris' yet-to-be released CD, Bittersweet.
With Soulstice, Harris forsakes his early funk/soul/rock roots, instead planting himself firmly in the dreaded 'singer-songwriter' mold. The bio on Harris' MySpace website indicates the direction he's going, with this pretentious bit of self-promotion: "David Ryan Harris is on a quest that has an almost mythological dimension to it. Armed with a voice that falls somewhere between Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway, songwriting that combines beautiful haunting melodies with sharp storytelling and guitar playing that is blues influenced and rock sharpened, David has been searching for the truth in music." Etc., etc.
Well, with my first listen under my belt, I can honestly say there isn't anything memorable here, at all. Missing are the crunchy guitarwork, soulful vocals and groove-inducing songwriting from his early work. Instead, each song on Soulstice blends into a bland whorl of uninspired, folksy, strum-strum-strummed chord changes, awfully rhymed lyrics and flat vocals that left me wondering if I made the right decision to buy Atlanta, and whether or not I should cancel my pre-order for Bittersweet.
In the meantime, I'm going to give Soulstice another listen, see if it grows on me. Who knows - maybe it will. Stranger things have happened. Then I'll listen to Atlanta as soon as it arrives, and I'll get back to you. Until then, three stars is as much as I can muster for this one..."