Sharing what they love in Shaniko
Oregon's own country-western singer and songwriter Joni Harms loves what she does for a living.
She and her 25-year-old daughter, Olivia Harms, will be sharing what they love when they put on a free outdoor concert from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, during Shaniko Days in the heart of Shaniko.
"Olivia and I will share a lot of our own music, most with very uplifting messages that will hopefully bring smiles to the listeners' faces," Joni said.
Selina Kephart, who runs the Shaniko antique store Raven's Nest, is organizing the annual Shaniko Days festival, which is set for Friday, July 31, and Saturday, Aug. 1.
Bob Connolly, a comedian who sings country music, will perform late Friday afternoon. Richard Harleman, another cowboy singer, will take to the stage Friday. Joni and Olivia will perform Saturday afternoon, followed by Wampus Cat, who will close down the concert series with their original music from 6 to 10 Saturday night.
"We'll have the stage ready for people who might come to play," Kephart said, adding that ofttimes the cowboy singers jam together, and even festival-goers perform.
She also has a food vendor, an antique dealer, and a gunfight group lined up for the festival.
The stage is attached to the Raven's Nest building on the southwest corner of the town square. Some shade and chairs will be provided, or guests may bring their own.
"There is plenty of room up here for social distance," Kephart said. "Wear your mask if you feel like you need to, and social distance. Everybody use their head and stay out of each other's spaces."
Joni added Shaniko Days 2020 to her concert schedule a year ago after Kephart approached her at the Rise Up Country music festival in Antelope.
"I've been going to their concert down in Antelope for a few years now, and I just love them. They're wonderful ladies," Kephart said.
Joni and Olivia would have played at the Antelope festival this summer, but the event was canceled.
"We will really miss that event and hope that the folks that would normally attend will consider joining us in Shaniko," Olivia said. "We are gonna have a great time and celebrate summer with some traditional country music!"
It's been more than 15 years since Joni performed at Shaniko Days.
"It will be a lot of fun to be back," she said. "We look forward to sharing our music with folks and hopefully get their minds off of all that is going on in our world right now."
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 album "Lucky 13" in 2018, and last year, Joni and Olivia released "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, who lives in Prineville, will sing several of her new songs in Shaniko, as well as some covers and old favorites. Joni will sing a variety of songs from all 15 of her albums.
"I love sharing the stage with my mom. We have a great energy together, and the family harmonies are priceless," Olivia 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 Joni's 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 CDs, caps and posters will be available for purchase at the concert.
"I am looking forward to performing at this event, mostly because I feel folks from smaller country towns really relate to our music and deserve an outing with all we have been through the past few months," Joni said.
Date: Friday, July 31, and Saturday, Aug. 1
Location: Shaniko town square
Joni and Olivia Harms Concert: 3-5 p.m. Aug. 1
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