Small venue performances offer artists an enormous opportunity to build connections to their audiences—in response, audiences hungrily seize these moments, and the chance to be a part of the lyrics and the sensibility of the artist. Emotion certainly reverberated through the walls Friday night at The White Eagle Saloon in Portland Oregon, thanks to Jason Hawk Harris and his amazing voice.
Fresh into the release of his debut EP, Formaldehyde, Tobacco and Tulips, Harris dove off the edge of his songs and into the hearts of the crowd as he regaled us with his stories of love, grief, and intimacy. From the depths of “Give Myself to You” to a lighter story within “I’m Afraid,” Harris showed off his lyrical chops–fiddle blended seamlessly with guitar, a sweet dance of tempo and harmony. Harris was brilliant at drawing us in and blowing our minds with booming, punctuated verses that showcased all that his voice can do.
He broke between songs to chat with us, telling jokes, giving us the background anecdotes to his songs, and even livened things up mid-set with a classic bluegrass favorite, “Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms.” The White Eagle was the perfect place to experience this show, and Jason Hawk Harris is definitely one to watch.