Multi-award willing singer-songwriter Steve Harris has composed and arranged music for his previous three albums in a variety of Americana styles, ranging from bluegrass to blues. His latest album, Angel Band, is different – with a clear focus on music from his Christian tradition. You might call it a gospel album, but it’s more than that. The songs on the album represent Harris’s faith journey through music.
“Throughout my life, Jesus has been my rock and foundation,” Harris says. “Growing up, we sang traditional songs and hymns in church. I loved that music, not only for its sound but for its message.” As a child, he sang This Little Light of Mine with other Sunday School kids. One song carries special memories. “My mother had a beautiful alto voice. I loved standing next to her in church and hearing her sing the harmony to Just As I Am.” Both songs are on the album.
Listeners to Harris’s new album will likely hear the influence from the long-running NPR show Prairie Home Companion. “Being born and raised in the Midwest,” Harris says, “I always have related to the stories and the characters from Garrison Keilor’s Lake Wobegon. But I loved the music maybe even a bit more.”
Stewart Myers, Harris’s producer, assembled a group of core central Virginia instrumentalists to bring Harris’s compositions and arrangements to life: Jesse Harper on guitar; Daniel Clarke on piano; Jesse Wells on fiddle; Andy Thacker on mandolin; Rusty Farmer on bass; and Charles Arthur on dobro, banjo and autoharp. This incredibly talented and capable group of musicians captured Harris’ feeling for each hymn. Their support for Harris’s vocals on It Is Well With My Soul demonstrates the depth of their talent. Enjoy this sample from the album.
Angel Band is slated for release on November 19 by Music Publishers of America. Compact Discs may be ordered through Harris’s online store. The album also will be available on all digital streaming and download platforms.