March 17, 2017
Standing Sun LIVE presents
Nestled between the rolling farmland of Oregon’s Willamette Valley and the impossibly tall trees further south, the gold and timber town of Cottage Grove has always drawn an eclectic mix of dreamers, drifters and prophets to its downtown Main Street.
For about a decade now, many of these frontier misfits have gathered to carouse and quench their thirst at the Axe & Fiddle Pub, and if the Harmed Brothers owe the path they’ve forged these past few years to any particular beer-soaked barroom along the way, it’s got to be the Fiddle.
It’s more than likely the place where, in early 2009, singer/songwriter Ray Vietti — already the veteran of one ambitious but ill-fated musical dream — first encountered Alex Salcido, and it’s probably where the two musicians first decided to jam. Soon enough, Vietti would come to recognize Salcido as a kindred spirit in both vision and song, and the young tunesmith would help write the Harmed Brothers saga with an insightful, often wistful lyrical and instrumental voice that offers a fitting complement to Vietti’s gritty baritone and powerful chords.
The fledgling duo paused in the Grove for a moment, gathering steam, trading tunes and talking possibilities, performing for crowds there and in nearby Eugene before striking out for the open road — their second home ever since and the undeniable inspiration for many of the songs and stories to follow.
Soon after their first meeting, Vietti and Salcido quickly recorded and released their independent debut, “All The Lies You Wanna Hear,” and began to tell the tales of love, loss, hard-drinking and redemption that have since endeared them to legions of fans and fellow musicians.
In 2011, the Harmed Brothers’ evolution as songwriters and as a touring act showed through with their sophomore effort, “Come Morning,” a release from Oklahoma-based Lackpro Records that sways with the rhythms of the road and the forlorn waltzes of a nation’s dive bars and dance halls.
These days, they call it “indiegrass,” the rustic American musical blend that celebrates and chronicles the physical and emotional gauntlet the Harmed Brothers have always ridden, zigzagging endlessly in vans across the nation. It’s an inclusive sound, the melding of two unique voices adorned each night with the contributions of the many pickers, singers and songwriters the Brothers have encountered in their travels.
It’s known as the “Harmed Family Roadshow,” and it’s as much a nightly happening as a sound in constant flux — from a jangly acoustic three-piece one night to a manic mariachi string band the next, a wall of rock-and-roll bombast at times giving way to the whispered incantations of two folk troubadours, often within the span of a single song.
Two years more on the road brought a European tour and a host of new fans, and by 2013, Salcido and Vietti stood poised to offer their most ambitious album to date. “Better Days,” recorded in a St. Louis studio and released by Portland, Oregon-based Fluff and Gravy Records, draws inspiration from themes of personal growth and redemption as well as the hurdles, heartbreaks and mishaps that have always accompanied the traveler’s search for enlightenment. Praised as “honest and inspired, devoid of posturing and pretense,” “Better Days” features some of the Harmed Brothers’ deepest grooves and their most plaintive and enduring tunes to date.
In the winter of 2015, the “Harmed Family Roadshow” gathered together in all its tattered glory in Portland, Oregon, the Brothers’ adopted home and headquarters, to begin amassing the riffs and recollections that will become their definitive recorded work. Due from Fluff and Gravy in early 2016, the album draws from the tales and talents of many of the duo’s closest collaborators and dearest friends. It promises textures never before captured on a Harmed Brothers release, brought together by the two visions and voices that propel the band toward an inspired and undeniable future.
About Jay Souza
"Souza’s lyrics are more poem than narrative, leaving behind impressions and images rather than story arcs.The songs are often dressed in catchy melodies and clever word play that initially obsure the lyrics’ underlying darkness, but the contrast makes this both immediately accessible and grist for deeper consideration." - No Depression
You can trace an almost linear route from the unfiltered moments of Dylan and The Hawks through Gram Parsons, to Tom Petty (with a slight detour along the way for chunks of the Rolling Stones circa 1969-72 and a speedbump called 'Tom Waits in the '90s'). The latest extension of this musical highway is paved by Patrolled By Radar, lead by singer-songwriter Jay Souza.
On their new album, Cool Your Jets, the Los Angeles based band fuses the finer elements of the past four decades to craft rock songs whose appeal defies genre or classification.
Once again the band tapped Grammy nominated producer Peter Curry (Los Straitjackets) to record, mix & produce the album, as he's done with their first two releases, and the strength of that relationship translates to the confidence PBR displays in their songwriting and performance. Curry, who also plays bass (and sometimes drums) on the new release refers to Souza's songwriting as "flash fiction with music." Adding further praise, he says "Jay has more in common with The Kinks than any of the current crop of 'Americana.' His songs tell stories that are simultaneously funny, sad and ironic, and the music rocks. He's one of those rare songwriters who crafts melodies as strong as his lyrics."
Aside from multiple rounds of touring on their own across the U.S., Patrolled By Radar has shared the stage with an eclectic array of artists such as Los Lonely Boys, Taj Mahal, The Jayhawks, Tim Finn w/Richard Thompson, Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs, the Gourds, Sonny Landreth, Chuck Prophet, and Dave & Phil Alvin.