The Harmed brothers
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.
“the fact that The Harmed Brothers haven’t achieved the popularity of, say, The Avett Brothers or The Lumineers remains as baffling as it is frustrating.” – Country Standard Time
“Melding indie rock fervor with the intricate fretwork of bluegrass, the band steer their way through both genres without slowing and manage to come out on the other side with something unique and wholly their own.” —Beats Per Minute
Unlike the unmussed fashion-grass coming from the Mumfords of the world, there’s something rusty and raw in the Harmed Brothers’ songs, something hungry and a little wild-eyed – Portland Mercury
“Better Days will slot in nicely to any collection that houses classic Ryan Adams, Whiskeytown, Uncle Tupelo (and their off-shoots) or the Avett Brothers. What it may lack in shocks, it more than makes up for in warmth and execution.” —Ian Fildes – Americana UK
"The Harmed Brothers are putting their folky bluegrass roots on the backburner and once again heading down their own path as they prepare to release a new self-titled full-length album in February 2017." - Glide Magazine
“On the new track “When You See Me” the two expand their post-Tupelo, country-folk sound into a back porch party that never gets too rowdy to crowd out the wistful theme and sweet harmonies.” —KDHX – Song of the Day
"Their sound practically demands attention, and once it succeeds, there's clearly no letting go." - Country Standard Time
Blissful harmonies and shuffling banjos and guitars – Magnet
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Record Label - Fluff and Gravy Records (PDX) - John Shepski - firstname.lastname@example.org