Alexis Harte latest CD, 6 Spoons of Honey
Check out Alexis Harte's CD, 6 Spoons of Honey ... available now!

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Alexis Harte Reviews

Print / Internet  ::  Television  ::  Festivals / Venues  ::  
Radio  ::  Full Press Kit

In addition to my mom, the following people have found these kind things to say about my music...

Print / Internet

Alexis Harte "6 Spoons of Honey" – November 2011

There is always a trick in balancing blues and folk.  They are so similar, yet so far apart in the thoughts going into the songs and the sounds and patterns expressed outward.  This album had me thinking about the balance that Alexis Harte is able to achieve.  Not only are those two classic forms present, but there are some modern indie touches in some of the songs.  "Hadn't Met You Yet" is the best example with its spooky guitar squawks and spacey synthesizer ambiance.  It's a fabulous song worth the price of admission by itself. But there are other nice songs like the attractive "Love After All".  Nice effort here and the result is an album that should appeal to a pretty wide base of music lovers.
           -- David Hintz, FOLKWORLD.EU

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Vintage Guitar magazine – October 2011

Check out this review (PDF) from Vintage Guitar magazine about my latest CD, 6 Spoons of Honey.

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Cincinnati City Beat

Alexis Harte is something of a throwback to the singer/songwriter of the '60s, when the likes of Cat Stevens, Nick Drake, Donovan and Al Stewart were unafraid to explore a variety of directions within the context of their singular styles.  On his fourth album, Big Red Sun, Harte offers plenty of sonic diversity, weaving threads of Jazz, Folk, Rock and Afro-Pop into his compelling and socially aware songs.  There are moments of whispered beauty reminiscent of the sweet Jazz/Pop melancholy of the Mark Almond Band ("Windy Girl," "For Tuesday") and others that lean into a wind blowing down Tom Waits' alley ("Crows," "Gun Magnet").  From the World music polyrhythms to the Folk foundation to the lyrical examinations of the world's myriad problems, Harte's lush yet tasteful work on Big Red Sun should be engagingly familiar to any fan of Dave Matthews and Graceland-era Paul Simon.
       –  Brian Baker

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The Eugene Register

Alexis Harte has a new album called “Big Red Sun.”  If you have an unending appetite for high quality songwriters, then you should scoot over to Cozmic for his Thursday show.

The texturing on “Big Red Sun” is tastefully done.  His voice and words are the heart of his songs, but they are not so straightforward that you can fully comprehend them on the first listen.

Sometimes, singer-songwriters can be yawners, but Harte keeps things interesting with a variety that doesn’t seem forced.  On “My Way Out
and “Parrots,” he uses a light island touch that his bio describes as Afro-pop.

The new album, according to the bio, is “not just pretty songs, but a home for some of our most pressing questions on how to live soulfully in the 21st century, and how life’s transience makes it matter that much more.”

The album features 16 supporting musicians who have worked with everyone from Tori Amos to Ani DiFranco.

Harte should give co-producer Jon Evans a kiss.  Together, they pull off complicated arrangements that could seem crowded, but which are executed as though a drop of sweat never fell in their creation.  “Big Red Sun” reminds me of Colin Hay’s solo work, but Harte does not come off as copying anyone.

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Vintage Guitar Magazine – June 2009

Alexis Harte, Big Red Sun (Alexis Harte Music)

Harte expands his unique and eclectic work with songs that never go quite where you expect.  Production is equally quirky, with lush double-tracked lead vocals on some cuts, while others are stripped to the basics.  Each song is a surprise, and with every listen gains resonance and depth.
       –  Steven Stone

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Pittsburgh Daily News Mail

If you dig the laid-back grooves of Jack Johnson or Donavon Frankenreiter, then California singer/songwriter Alexis Harte is going to be right up your alley.  Still a relative unknown commodity despite four full-lengths to his credit, much of “Big Red Sun” has the barefoot-guy-with-an-acoustic-guitar vibe that has made Johnson a very rich man.  Ironically enough, it’s when Harte deviates from that sound that he really shines...

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Americana-UK.com

"Harte's got heart"

Though on the surface these songs pay homage to the usual generic tropes, Harte smuggles in the odd burst of the inappropriate to keep things fresh.  So after a run of three pretty conventional songs he runs in 'Send a Robot', a furiously up-tempo effort, and then 'Gun Magnet' that starts with drum rolls and soon mutates into man with flame-thrower guitar, and he can really handle the flames.  It's a far cry from the orchestral pop that the opening 'Mayflies' promised where horns vie for attention with a rich electric sound and a substantial buffer of voices.  It's also a fair distance from the cello which along with itchy twitching percussion gives a solid foundation to 'For Tuesday'.

 'Pot of Rainbow' is both exotic and strangely suburban, a bit like a barbecue that is supposed to reconnect you with nature, the African instrumentation tamed, rain clouds gathering overhead.  'My Way Out' contains similar dreams of Africa, high-life guitar and the compulsive beat of the congas bring something disturbing to the neighbourhood.  A sense of adventure also pervades 'Crows' where the instruments wash around each other in a kind of primal murk, lurching from one beat to the next.  Harte manages to continually subvert his own conservativism with experimentation, or it could be the other way around, what it does mean is that this is always listenable.
       –  David Cowling

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Relix Magazine/Jambands.com

self-released

"...Though he’s traded in parrots for crows, there is no less hope on Big Red Sun.  He just refuses to hold your hand to find it.  He isn’t raining on the dance, he’s dancing in the rain, and I suspect those who listen will join him."

With nearly a decade since his first release, it’s safe to say that Northern California’s Alexis Harte has been at this a long time.  But despite having vocal textures and song compositions which easily hold up against contemporaries Jose Gonzalez and Alexi Murdoch (his voice sounding like the former with the latter’s diversity in his repertoire), Harte hasn’t garnered nearly the same traction amongst fans.  It’s time for a change, which is exactly what we get.

Big Red Sun, Harte’s fourth release, finds the Berkeley native taking a decidedly more serious direction in his music.  To be sure, some of his brighter inclinations remain.  The infectious Caribbean-folk that permeates his last album, Sunlight Loping reappears, albeit in a subdued version, on “My Way Out” and “Pot of Rainbow.”  But more often than not, carefree songs collide with lyrics of an unexpected gravity, redirecting Harte’s playful flourishes towards sobering truths.  The sum total is something akin to Nick Drake’s “Rider On The Wheel,” its light-hearted, woodsy dance built around serious introspection...read the entire review >>
       –  Fady Kahlil
          2009-03-10

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San Francisco Examiner

"A NEW CD" "Several of the folksy, poetic (and gently woodsy) tracks from Alexis Harte's "Tumbling" have already been receiving spins on KFOG's Sunday morning standby, Acoustic Sunrise."  And with good reason.  With influences ranging from Celtic to the Caribbean to the Appalachians, the Bay Area-based guitarist's songwriter continues to mature and develop both lyrically and rhythmically on his third release, and he blends his superior, well-versed musicianship with a welcomely upbeat and idealistic voice that is textured, engaging and thought-provoking, but never heavy-handed."
   – Chris Patrick Morgan

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Acoustic Guitar Magazine

ACOUSTIC GUITAR "EDITORS' CHOICE" - DECEMBER 2003

"Northern California singer-songwriter Alexis Harte could pass as a Scottish or English expatriate on this second self-produced CD, as he channels bits of Donovan ("Sweet Tooth"), Nick Drake ("Lap Dragons") and Al Stewart ("Puddle of Stars") along with a little gratuitous Tom Waits vocal process.   But his knack for catchy melodies, fresh lyrics, and deftly textured arrangements (integrating balafon, accordion, violin, and reeds into the mix), as well as crisp acoustic fingerpicking and taut soloing, confirm the original folk-rock sensibility he's forged since trading his Marshall amp head for an early 60s sunburst Gibson acoustic guitar.  A former ecologist in Brazil, Harte tempers his folkie romanticism with worldly rhythms and prismatic poetry for a bracing effect overall."
      – Derk Richardson
         (PDF version)

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Performing Songwriter Magazine

Junebug chosen as Top 12 Independent Release for 2001

"San Francisco songwriter and ecologist Alexis Harte has stepped out of the studio musician and tour sideman shadows and produced a solo record of impressively simple, clean, cosmopolitan folk. Harte's efficiency with words and plainspoken imagery call to mind Richard Buckner; his warm, woody voice and organic melodies are akin to Dave Matthews; and his sophisticated acoustic guitar playing and arrangement are an amalgam of everyone from Bob Mould to Bill Frisell. That, said, Harte's work most certainly stands on its own merits. With Junebug, he hits and airy, uncomplicated, and innocent resonance.

The arrangements on Junebug draw from Latin American, flamenco, and traditional folk influence, and the melodies slip and cast about above the spare acoustic instrumentation with clarity and ease. Harte's lyrics are kitchen-table-simple and stay rooted in the staples of nature, love, reflection without sounding self-indulgent or out of touch with reality. Junebug glides along between inconsolable melancholy and wide eyed happiness and settles into a cool, smiling personal space."
       – Clay Steakley, 06/2001 issue 

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Performer Magazine

From the original artwork on the sleeve to the polished vocals, song construction, and excellent musicianship, this album is first class the whole way. The energy is kept throughout without ever becoming overbearing, coming out with brilliant lyric after brilliant lyric. It is definitely evident that Alexis Harte took the time to perfect the songs and craft them properly before going into the recording studio.

[...]

This album epitomizes everything that is good about music, removed from the insincere and mediocre musicianship that dots the musical landscape. These songs work as a cohesive whole to drive the album forward and get across his message. The interesting use of flute, saxophone and accordion add dimension and depth to the already interesting tonal qualities of the arrangements. These instruments add a sophisticated quality to the work that is sorely lacking in larger mainstream music. Alexis Harte's lyrics and impeccable attention to detail make this not only a catchy album, but sophisticated and thought provoking.
      – Mark Kramer, 01/2004 issue
         PDF Version

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Hear Music Store

Hear Discoveries- Emerging Artists You Need to Hear

"Alexis Harte's burnished, burly voice is an inspiration on Sunlight Loping. His temperate rock motifs lure us in, but the Berkeley native has much more in store, as metaphor and clever word play give listeners lyrics worth turning over in the mind. Check out Sweet Tooth with its melodic nod to Mississippi John Hurt's Candy Man. There are intriguing layers to every song here, and Harte's finger- picking dexterity clears a splendid path through this sonic forest."

– Emerging Artists You Need to Hear
   (In-store listening station)
   Hear Music
   Berkeley, CA

"Harte of a songcrafter. Alexis Harte's forward-thinking acoustic soundscapes are propelled by his satisfying voice and densely lasting lyrics. He inhabits his songs like an emotive protagonist left, wondering, wandering , searching for answers that lie within his words. He's got the voice, the music, the words, and the passion to create startling music of depth that changes colors from note to note."

– In-store poster
   Hear Music
   Berkeley, CA 

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Tape Op Magazine

"ALEXIS HARTE, Sunlight Loping Matt Boudreau has been contributing to Tape Op and our conference for a few years but I hadn't heard any of his work as a producer or engineer. He fills those roles on this CD and does them well. The sounds of this disc is right on for the Nick Drake-ish vocal and varied backing tracks. Instruments sound full and natural, with plenty of ambience and breathing room without getting too roomy.

I'm enjoying this disc! "

– Larry Crane
   Editor in Chief, Tape Op Magazine July/August 2003
   (PDF version)

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Other

"The songs are great, the band excellent, which means fantastic music for your mind as well as your feet. The Alexis Harte Band is something to behold."

– Carey Williams, Manager for Taj Mahal

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Miles of Music

"Each song is a well-crafted journey, traveling on wistful, yet sultry, melodies, leaving poetry in its wake. Sunlight Loping is a warm, organic offering from an artist that is truly hard to peg, though his subtle and sophisticated blend of styles is engaging for sure."

Miles of Music online music store

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Television top of page

UPN Network

Yellow Shoes (from Harte's first CD Junebug) was featured on the premier episode a new sci-fi drama called Jake 2.0. on UPN Network (these are the fine folks who bring you The Simpsons and Buffy the Vampire Slayer) September, 2003.

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W.B. Network

Yellow Shoes was played on WB's "Jack and Bobby", December 2004.

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Nickelodeon

7 Songs from Harte's two records were heard on 4 episodes The Nickelodeon's "Best Friend's Date," December 2004 - January 2005.

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PBS

Harte's song Do What You Will (from Junebug) was heard on Bill Moyers NOW September 17, 2004 on PBS.

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Radio top of page

KFOG

"You may already know Alexis Harte's music, having heard "Yellow Shoes" on KFOG's Acoustic Sunrise. Well, this nice young man is back with an album that is his best to date. It's called Tumbling . . . but more on that in a second.

Harte was raised in Berkeley, where music was always filling the halls of his home. Downstairs, his mom enjoyed her Carole King and classical records, while the upstairs boomed with the rock, soul and funk preferences of his older brother. In the attic, Alexis found a handmade guitar, an amp, and determination. I recently learned Harte has his masters in Ecology and Environmental Studies – who knew this background would play out so nicely in World Class Rock!?!

From the first track, "Canary" – which has a gritty feel and a bit of an island cha-cha thing going on – to the simple, life-loving song "Junebug", Alexis' voice is layered with emotion, similar to that of Nick Drake or Cat Stevens. The only difference is that Alexis Harte seems to be, well, happier. "Red Balloon", possibly my favorite song on the album, has an upbeat rhythm with layered guitar work. It is, dare I say, kind of jam-bandy. And then "Young Arrow" comes along, where Harte nails the rootsy/Americana sound. If you like poetic storytelling, rich vocals, thoughtful lyrics and layered swirly melodies, you will totally dig Tumbling. The CD officially comes out on April 13th. Make it a point to find it."

Renee Richardson
KFOG
San Francisco, CA

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Featured on the Bay Area's KFOG as "up and coming World Class Rock". Feature includes a profile on the KFOG website under the "Local Scene" heading plus regular airplay and announcement of upcoming local shows.

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NPR

A previously unreleased, full-band version of the song Yellow Shoes was featured in July on National Public Radio's All Songs Considered, an online music program.

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Stations spinning Junebug & Sunlight Loping (in no particular order)

KFOG, San Francisco / KALW, San Francisco / KWMR West Marin, CA / KALX Berkeley, CA / KPFA Berkeley, CA / KZYX Mendocino, CA / KALX Berkeley, CA / KSUN Sonoma State University Radio KDUR AAA Durango, CO / WCHG Hot Springs, VA, WUMB Boston, MA KVRM Eugene, OR / KVLR 106.3fm Twisp, WA / WUIS 91.9 - University of Illinois at Springfield, Springfield IL.

La Otra Musica, Radio 105 Cadiz, Spain "The Moodswing Lounge / Radio Milo 103.1 FM Mol, Belgium "Roots Revival" Radio ATL 105.9 MHz Bree, Belgium.

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Live Radio Performances

Alexis Harte Band has played live on KPFA (Berkeley), KALW (San Francisco), KWMR (West Marin, CA), WUMB (Boston) and KRVM (Eugene, OR).

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Festivals & Venues top of page 

Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival

"We booked Alexis Harte for the main stage. Alexis and his band filled the performance segment perfectly. They presented high quality musicianship and their eclectic original music was enjoyed by all. Highly recommended!"

Jimmy Goings
Co-Producer and Talent Booker
Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival, Sept. 2003
Santa Clara, CA

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Santa Rosa Health & Harmony Festival

"I found Alexis' music to be absolutely delightful - catchy, appealing tunes and thoughtful, evocative lyrics, reminiscent of Taj Mahal one minute, Randy Newman the next. His tunes varied from sweet and wistful to rollocking and bluesy; all were performed masterfully and with great stage presence by the group.

The festival audience agreed - Alexis drew and held a large crowd, and was very enthusiastically received."

Daniel Solnit
Eco-Stage Manager
25th Annual Health & Harmony Festival, Santa Rosa, CA

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Sonoma State College

"The band was great to work with and the students loved their sound so much they immediately asked us when we were bringing them back!"

Mo Phillips
Associate Director of Student Development
Sonoma State University, Sonoma, CA