Sharing what they love
Oregon's own country singer and songwriter Joni Harms loves what she does for a living.
"It is so much fun to be able to put a smile on people's faces, and I think we all certainly need that now more than ever," she says.
Joni and her 25-year-old daughter, Olivia Harms, will be sharing what they love when they put on a free outdoor concert at 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2 at Powell Butte Christian Church.
"We will be playing some new music as well as old favorites," Joni said. "Some gospel, but mostly songs we have written and want to share."
Powell Butte Christian Church's Cowboy Church service sponsors the Joni Harms Concert with Olivia and Friends, which is open to anyone who would like to attend.
The concert will be held on the large lawn on the west side of the church. The stage will be elevated. Concert-goers will need to physically distance between families and are welcome but not required to wear face coverings.
"Bring your chair and your picnic lunch, shade if you need it, your beverages, and come and enjoy the concert with your family," said Amber Turnage, who coordinates the music for Cowboy Church. "Their songs are just great — they're so relatable."
Joni and Olivia have performed a handful of times for Cowboy Church — usually alone, but sometimes together. This time, they're bringing Aarun Carter, their award-winning fiddle player, and her fiancé, Zach Stephens, on bass.
"Usually it has been just the two of us, so I think the folks that attend will really enjoy the extra instruments," Joni said.
"We truly adore Olivia and Joni, and they are such a blessing to us. They have a really strong faith, and that comes through a lot in their music," Turnage said. "We like to help support their music and encourage them in their goals with their music, and they certainly encourage us because they are so good."
They enjoy playing for the Powell Butte folks.
"They always make us feel so welcome," Joni said. "They are very friendly people, and I think they can relate to our style of music."
Olivia, who lives in Prineville, said the church members always make her feel right at home.
"In true country church fashion, they take the time to ask how I've been, catch up, and make me feel like family," Olivia said. "I know my mom and I are really looking forward to spending time with our Powell Butte friends."
Joni lives on a Century Farm in Canby and has been singing and writing songs since the 1980s. Her music includes titles such as "I Need a Wife," "The Only Thing Bluer Than His Eyes," and "Bless the Farmer." She released her 13th album, "Lucky 13," in 2018. Last year, Joni and Olivia released the album "Our Favorites."
Joni has received several Academy of Western Artists Awards. She holds the title of Entertainer of the Year in 2002 and Female Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year from the Western Music Association in 2003. Joni will be inducted into the Western Music Hall of Fame in November in New Mexico.
"Other past inductees have been the likes of Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Eddy Arnold and Chris LeDoux, so I feel I am in good company," she said.
Olivia has been writing some new songs, making trips to Nashville, Tennessee, and just finished recording her sophomore album, although she doesn't have a release date. Before she can put it out independently, she wants to see if any labels in Nashville are interested.
"The process is exciting, but it takes time. I'm chomping at the bit to get my new music out there and share it with the world, but it could be six months to a year," she said. "I'm so proud of it, and I think folks will feel that it is truly a representation of who I am."
Olivia will share some of her favorite country and gospel songs during the concert as well as some originals and maybe a couple of songs off the new album.
"I love sharing the stage with my mom. We have a great energy together, and the family harmonies are priceless," she said. "We have a great time together on and off stage, and I think the audience can see that."
Joni says it is very special to have the opportunity to play music with her daughter.
"I feel so lucky that she is pursuing a career in music, and my son Luke is carrying on another passion of mine with his love for farming," she said.
Luke sells John Deere tractor equipment and raises cattle and crops on their farm that has been in the Harms family since her great-great-grandfather homesteaded there in 1872.
"I think both of my children have a bright future, and I am so very happy they are doing something they love," Joni said.
Joni and Olivia's music CDs will be available for purchase at the concert, and Turnage said there will be boxes if guests would like to give a love offering to help Cowboy Church bring in professional musicians.
"I just want to thank people who are supporting LIVE music events," Joni said. "Six feet apart, wearing masks or whatever it takes ... I think we need the uplifting sounds of music more than ever!"
Joni Harms Concert with Olivia and Friends
Date: 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2
Location: Outdoors on the west lawn at Powell Butte Christian Church, 13720 Highway 126, Powell Butte
Bring your picnic, chairs and shade to the free concert. No alcohol or smoking.
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