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Top Five Fridays: Roger Harvey

March 3, 2017
Hey Folks,
Welcome to the first Top Five Fridays of the month!  The way the game works is that I bring aboard someone crazy musically talented that I want you all to listen to, and they in turn bring along with them five records they want you all to listen to. The result being you are left with not only a new artist to jam out with but also an exciting look into some of the music that makes them tick.  Last week we were in Philly (DIY music capital of the world) with the dreamy power pop outfit Oxblood.  Today I’m so excited to be sticking around the city that loves you like a brother to have a chat with indie “peace punk” songwriter Roger Harvey
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Photo by Autumn Spadaro Cali

 

I first caught Roger solo and acoustic back in early 2016 when he played a kicking music showcase put on by Animal House Productions with the equally talented and amazing Laura Stevenson.  I was drawn in by the simplicity and beauty of Roger’s music stripped down to the bare minimum and took a chance on a cassette copy of his excellent record 2015 record “Twelve Houses.”  The purchase ended up being one of the best $5 I ever spent.  “Twelve Houses” is a singer/songwriter record with a kicking band vibe and truly masters the “intimate yet anthemic” aesthetic.  I could rave about not only the quality of Roger’s songwriting, but also how the freakin’ guitars sound on this record.
Today Roger has amassed one of my favorite collection of records ever in the history of Top Five Fridays.  Like his own work, these are amazing songwriters that not only know how to write but how to record.  Each of these records has a sound all their own, and they all manage to bring you to a very distinct place each and every time you drop the needle.  Some of you may notice that there are actually six records listed today.  To that I remind you that that you don’t pull your man when he’s pitching a no hitter.  Give it up for Top Five Fridays presented by Roger Harvey!
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Here’s some thoughts on a few records I love. Thanks for including me in this series!
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The first time I heard On The Beach I remember thinking that there was something inherently punk rock about this record. It’s so straight up like a lot of Neil Young’s albums. It’s heavy, it’s soft, it’s thoughtful, and the electric guitars. Perfect.
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I love how deep this record digs. To me it represents an advanced process of songwriting. Capturing moments of reflection upon where you’ve been, where you want to go, and what you think might be the truth. This is my shit.
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Bob Dylan- Blood On The Tracks (1975)

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I always wondered why this record put me in a specific place and when I learned that the entirety was recorded in open D, It’s the first time I reflected on the relationship between key and message. I love this record for so many reasons but the way that relationship drives the delivery & intention of the ideas so precisely is what initially hooked me. Blood On The Tracks is the ultimate breakup record, in my opinion.
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I love Emmylou and these kinds of classic sounding arrangements. This record has a bit of it all; honky-tonking tunes all the way down to desolation blues, and Emmylou covering Gram Parsons is heartbreaking in the most beautiful way.
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When I was 19 I took the bus from New York City to the Grand Old Opry to see Loretta Lynn play. I feel like Loretta redefined a lot of things about the direction of country music in her prime, or at the very least defined a representation of a different narrative, which is represented intensely on this album. So much admiration and respect for her power.
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All Townes has to do is play and sing. No showing off, just songs and delivery that make you certain that he is telling the truth. In a heavy way.
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Thanks Roger! Such great choices.
Folks check out Roger on FACEBOOK, and his official site so you can stay abreast of his plans and machinations.  Also give a listen to his latest musical offering, a gorgeous lofi cover of Woody Guthrie’s “Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos).” The track is free but donations to the ACLU are encouraged.  Remember that if you enjoyed today’s Top Five Fridays there’s far more magic where this came from in the  ARCHIVE, where you will find T5F by musical superheroes including Philly artists Oxblood, Abi Reimold, Radiator Hospital, creepoid, and an interview with Roger’s pal and fellow singer/songwriter DIY punk pop powerhouse Laura Stevenson.
well peace out good people of the world,
Peter
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Peter Winter is getting ready to see LOGAN tonight.  Tears will be shed.  Follow him on twitter and see how man @peterwinter38
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