Kim and Reggie Harris with Davey O. ~ 2015 May 16 ~ Javawocky Coffeehouse ~ Brockton, MA
Kim Harris, vocals; Reggie Harris, guitar and vocals; Davey O. opened the show on vocals, guitar, and harmonica
Crack In The Wall
Concert Going Partner and I had heard the Harrises once before, a few years ago at the Woods Hole Folk Music Series, and it was time to give them another go. It was a great show! Kim and Reggie Harris are the real deal. Reggie can really play, and they can both really sing. For two vocalists with one acoustic guitar, they make a mighty sound, a sound that fills the room with energy and joy.
They share very equally in the singing, and also in the song introductions and story telling. Kim is a bundle of enthusiasm on stage, gesturing with her hands, sometimes signing the lyrics that she is singing. It's just really hard not to grin watching her, since the fun she is having is infectious.
Kim and Reggie very much view themselves as continuing a blessed tradition of bringing about social change through song, in a cascading river of musicians including Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. They sang songs by and about both of these men, whom they clearly consider heroes of the people. They also sing songs of the sheroes of the people, such as one song about abolitionist and feminist Sojourner Truth. The songs are often accompanied by stories. Whether it is bringing to life Dr. Martin Luther King's I Had a Dream speech, or telling the personal story of Reggie Harris' "resurrection" upon receiving a new liver, their stories are riveting, often filled with humor, and always sincere.
And then there is the singing along! I told you they were carrying on for Pete Seeger, didn't I? Kim Harris said: "some of you were told to just mouth the words, and some of you were told you were great singers and to sing out. Well, tonight you are all great singers." The audience, while not large, sang gladly and with enthusiasm on quite a few songs. They were mostly songs we already knew, but if there was teaching to be done, the Harrises brought the audience into the song smoothly. They mentioned they do a lot of work with children (even first graders) and I can just imagine how engaging they must be for those little ones.
The show was opened by a Buffalo-area singer/songwriter named Davey O., who played a half hour set. He sang beautifully, accompanied himself on guitar, and harmonica on one or two songs. His songs were sincere, literate, and well written, and he told some entertaining stories, including some scenes of his former career as a customer service rep at a company that manufactured shoddy home goods for a TV shopping channel. He was a very appropriate opener for Kim and Reggie, and they themselves liked him so much they requested an encore, and then had him come up on stage to sing backup for them on one or two songs.
This was my first time visiting this coffeehouse venue in a Unitarian Universalist church basement. Tables with chairs were set up facing a fairly large stage. There was coffee, and homemade desserts, available for a donation. A very laid back, comfortable atmosphere. The sound was good, and there was enough light on the stage to get some good photos. My kind of place.
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