Pop/Americana/Country - No surprise that the latest from New Zealand to Nashville transplant Kylie Harris comfortably straddles authentic country twang and the more raw, rocky musical borders of tough-minded Americana. After all, Harris was the host of the popular Great American Country series Edge of Country, a show that championed the rising stars of "alternative country." An award-winning country performer in her native New Zealand, Harris made the move to Nashville a decade ago to immerse herself in the unique Music City vibes and set the stage for her own music in the States. Following up her praised 2004 self-titled release, the forthcoming March 24 album Love, Lessons and Lies centers Harris' soulful, honey-dripped voice above a richly sumptuous backing of bluesy, R+B-meets-country swing.
Comparisons to the pioneering modern country attitude of artists such as Roseanne Cash and Mary Chapin Carpenter as well as Bonnie Raitt and the recent Mark Knopfler/Emmylou Harris collaboration are expected. But what isn't is the exceptional quality of songwriting and the sterling production from drummer Marco Giovino that manages to combine a ragged, organic earthiness with a finely textured polish. The lovely ballad "Now and Then" finds a beautiful balance with the haunting blues wail and darkly sweet rock rhythms of "Miles and Miles". A luxurious, shimmering gem, "Sundown" drifts in after the half-shuffling, half-strutting "Drive" floats away in a glorious haze of a soaring guitar lead, incessant backbeat and jazzy-cool organ fills.
Performer Magazine Reviews Love, Lessons and Lies
Kylie Harris - Love, Lessons And Lies
Produced by Marco Giovino
Engineered by The Pigeon Club Studios in Hoboken, NJ
Additional engineering by Don Kerce at Anarchy Recording Studios in Nashville, TN and Doug Lancio at Doug's Basement in Nashville, TN
Mixed by Doug Lancio and Niko Bolas
Mastered by Richard Dodd
Nashville singer/songwriter Kylie Harris has had a hell of a career. At 17, she was the youngest person to ever win a Gold Guitar Award. Her first two albums won her top country album of the year in her native New Zealand. She also hosts a TV show, "The Edge of Country," on Great American Country, and she plays in country legend Patty Loveless' touring band. With a resume like that, you should expect a lot out her newest album on Fuzzy Feet records, Love, Lessons & Lies.
The album opens with "Different Place, Different Time," a song that shows Harris' diversity as a songwriter. You would expect a song with a country feel to open the album, but instead Harris gives us a jazzy, Norah Jones-style song. Her vocals travel smoothly over the sounds of a console organ, combined with the laid-back melody of electric guitar, played by G.E. Smith, who has worked with the likes of Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger and George Harrison. Later in the album, Harris brings back the jazz feel in songs "Poet's Dream" and "I Want To Be The One."
From the surprising opening song, Harris dives into the radio-friendly, catchy pop-country song "Down To The Ground." "Down To The Ground" showcases Harris' pop sensibility, as does the song "Drive."
Other songs on the album bring to mind the sound of old-school country artists such as Patsy Cline. "Love's Back Hand," a powerful song featuring Patty Loveless on backing vocals, demonstrates this sound well. "Somethin', Somethin'" also brings to mind the old-school country sound, and while it is not the most interesting song on the album, there's still something refreshing about the stripped-down simple style of the song.
Love, Lessons And Lies is a diverse album that is a lot of fun to listen to. Harris definitely lives up to expectations with the album. (Fuzzy Feet Records)
Kylie Harris began singing and playing guitar at 13 years of age. After releasing two albums and receiving widespread acclaim in her native New Zealand, the accomplished singer, writer and instrumentalist decided to bring her talent to Nashville.
First-time listeners and longtime fans alike are drawn in by her honest and soulful delivery, which has drawn comparisons to Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin, Linda Ronstadt, Roseanne Cash and the great Patsy Cline.
At 17, Kylie became the youngest-ever winner of the overall Gold Guitar Award. This high-profile win eventually lead to a recording contract with BMG. Her debut album, “Let It Be Love”, was a critical and commercial success, earning her “Country Album of the Year” and the “Rising Star” award at New Zealand’s Music & Entertainment Awards. Her second album, “Fancy”, also took top album honors at those same awards two years later. This success and recognition lead her to tour throughout New Zealand and Australia as the opening act for Kenny Rogers, Ricky Skaggs, The Irish Rovers and Charley Pride, whom she also supported here in the states.
In 2001, her musical abilities and personable manner caught the attention of the television network, Great American Country (GAC). They invited her to host her own daily show called “The Edge of Country,” a program that caters to all fans of Americana/Roots music; it also reaches over 42 million homes in North America to this day.
2004 & 2005 found Kylie once again taking home top honors for Country Album of the Year and Song of the Year back in New Zealand. All this coming on the heels of her joining Patty Loveless’ touring band, where she provided acoustic guitar, mandolin and background vocals.
Kylie has traveled many miles in pursuit of advancing and growing as an artist and musician. Her new album, “Love, Lessons and Lies”, reflects on that journey. With contributions from; G.E. Smith,(Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, George Harrison), Patty Loveless; Doug Lancio, (Patty Griffin, John Hiatt); Niko Bolas, (Neil Young, Linda Ronstadt, Warren Zevon); Richard Dodd; (Tom Petty, Dixie Chicks) and some of New York’s and Nashville’s top musicians, this album has all the ingredients to make it a timeless classic.
In a business that has overly produced and manufactured stars, Kylie reminds us that true and real talent should always be a prerequisite.