Local country star releases 'Lucky 13' album
Longtime country music star Joni Harms, of Canby, has released her 13th album, aptly named "Lucky 13."
"For a long time, I've said that if I get to make 13 albums, when I get to my 13th, it's going to be called 'Lucky 13,'" Harms said.
While Harms has been through the album release process many times before, sometimes while signed to big labels, the number 13 and this album are extra special to her.
"It's a special number to me…because first of all my dad was released from World War II on Nov. 13 at dock 13, and so 13 was always a special number to him," Harms said. "What really clenched it is on June 13, 23 years ago, [my daughter Olivia] was born in Room 13, June 13 at 13:13 military time, 1:13 in the afternoon…So yeah, I just said that is my lucky number."
The album features what Harms calls "quite a body of different styles of music," including a patriotic song, humorous songs like 'Horse Sense' and 'Tofu' and even a tribute song to the late Merle Haggard, which includes licks from some of his songs.
One song acknowledges farmers with the tune, "God bless the farmers, working seven days a week. Lord knows without 'em, we wouldn't eat." Harms, herself, lives on a farm south of Canby that has been in her family for 150 years.
"'God Bless the Farmer,' the very first cut on there, is very near and dear to my heart because I have a real passion for living on a farm and ranch," Harms said. "As the song says, really, without the farmers and ranchers, we wouldn't have food on our table. Sometimes they don't get the credit they deserve, but that song kind of speaks out for them."
Though the songs vary in style, one constant throughout the album is the rich sounds of banjo, accordion, fiddle and steel from the Sheerin Family Band. Harms has often recorded albums in Nashville with piles of top-notch musicians at her disposal. This album though, along with her last called "From Oregon to Ireland," was recorded with the Sheerins at their studio in Ireland.
"These guys are every bit as good," Harms said.
Now, Harms and her daughter Olivia will perform with the band in Ireland during part of their European tour in September and October. The mother-daughter duo often perform together, and with many requests for an album, it's finally happing. They're visiting Nashville this summer to record a duets album, which should be available by mid to late summer.
"She does a lot on her own, but right now, I'm just enjoying it to no end getting to travel around with my daughter," Harms said.
Also during the Nashville trip, Olivia will do some songwriting with some great Nashville songwriters as she considers the future of her own country music career. She recorded her first album, which includes a song titled "Canby," when she was 16, but has since found who she is as an artist, according to Harms.
She has learned much from the successful career of her mom, who has been signed to big labels like Capitol in the past, but these days enjoys the freedom of producing music on her own label, Harm's Way Music. Olivia called it "a very exclusive label," one to which only Harms and Olivia are signed.
Olivia graduated from Canby High School and Oregon State University and now lives in Prineville, but she commutes to Nashville to write songs and perform gigs. She is not rushing anything, but is considering looking for a record deal in the future.
"I commute back to Nashville," Olivia said, "which is basically what I'm doing next Monday is going back to write and work on my songs before I see if there's any possibility of taking it any further because I want to make sure that if I'm going to shop for a record label, I'm ready to do that with a good batch of songs that describe who I am as an artist and show a good profile of what I want to be if they're interested."
To listen to Harms's and Olivia's music, and to purchase signed albums, visit their websites at joniharms.com and olivia13.com.
You can also watch for the ladies at local venues. Olivia is performing at Legend's Bar and Grill at Arrowhead Golf Course in Molalla on Aug. 17. Harms will perform at the 2018 Annual Dahlia Festival on Aug. 26-27.