Last Update:

03 October 2005

Harlen Simple
It's all about the music, nothing else. Harlen Simple is a band that will step over every invisible line in music just to push themselves to another level. John Peterson, Erick Thomas, Ken Morrow, and Travis Williams are not your run of the mill bar band. This group is notorious for their two hour sets and never preparing set lists. The band will play any song from any genre that has ever influenced them. "We're gonna play what makes our asses move," says Erick Thomas, "it's so much fun just to throw it up in the air and see how it falls. That's why we don't write set lists. It's a hell of a lot more fun to see what you're feelin', and whatever you want to play next you play next."
With influences that go from Elmore James to Neil Young and Bob Marley, you can hear it all meshed together as if it were thrown in a blender with some tequila and beer and poured onto a stage. With nothing but gut feelings and raw emotions, every night on any given stage it's always a different show. This group has somehow managed to pull all the emotions and feelings through the amplifiers to hand deliver to any person within earshot.
The varied background of this group has amazingly complemented each other and has grown into a phenomenon all its own. Erick's self taught style, Kenny's bluesy bass line, John's aggresiveness on the drums all meld with Travis' forceful timber that can be soulful or gritty. Each member of this group has grown and can adapt his sound to match or complement that of the others. This brings forth a unique blend of personalities and sounds which has made Harlen Simple what is today.
This motley group is known for pulling the shanghai on fellow musicians when they are spotted in the audience. It is not a surprising event to see various friends of theirs on stage with them dueling it out with guitars or having a harmonica accompany them on a song. That's the way this community of musicians operates. They all love to play no matter where... no matter when — it's all about the music. Take in just one of their shows and you will understand.
It is very difficult to put into words what you feel when you are at one of their shows. It is something that just has to be experienced. Whether it's a two hour set or a 45 minute throwdown at a festival, it's something that is certainly worth seeing to believe.
This group is there. Their tone, their heart and soul are out there for all to see and hear. As amazing as it is to sit and listen to them today, just wait to see what they will be doing tomorrow.
Karen Pooler    03 October 2005 03:54