A friend and former colleague suggested that I might like David Ryan Harris. So, when I found out he'd be performing at Rockwood Music Hall November 20th, I decided to check him out and was truly blown away. The venue was packed to capacity and a line formed outside with eager concertgoers hoping to gain a coveted spot inside. When they couldn't, they went next door to watch the show broadcast live via video screen.
Harris is well known for lending his guitar skills and vocals to John Mayer, Dave Matthews and Santana on tour. Perhaps it was only fitting that one of the songs he briefly covered during the night was Mayer's "Your Body Is a Wonderland." While he has shared the stage with many notable performers, Harris demonstrated his prowess as a singer-songwriter throughout his set.
With a distinct and soulful flavor, Harris brings to mind classic Motown and R&B performers. Tracks like "Yesterday Shutting Down" showcased his powerful vocals while "Still Be Loving You," a moving ballad written for his mother, touches the listener on a more personal level. While performing "Yesterday Shutting Down," Harris led a slow buildup within the tale of the song before belting, "I wanna move on with the rest of my life." With appropriate musical accompaniment and groove, the listener couldn't help but tap his foot along.
"Sweetest Berry" pleased concertgoers as Robbie McIntosh took the stage and wowed the crowd with his impressive guitar chops. Always the versatile musician, tracks like "Slow Train Moving" showcase Harris' soulful side while "Crocodile Lake" is more of an upbeat jazzy number with fitting percussion and electric guitar.
With simple guitar finger picking and intimate lyrics, "For You" is a beautiful ballad that brings reference to fellow up-and-coming artists like Tyrone Wells and the likes of the more legendary Marvin Gaye. Truly an artist to witness live, Harris' MySpace doesn't do him justice. Catch him live and see for yourself.
Recommended: For fans of Marvin Gaye, Tyrone Wells, Usher.
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