By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
For Kim and Reggie Harris, everything is better together: They’re a husband-and-wife team, and they’re storytellers and musicians.
The Philadelphia, Penn.,- based couple has performed and shared the stage with everyone from Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, Jay Leno and others in their 30-plus year career. They’ll arrive in Tupelo next week to work with students and perform their soulful blend of folk and gospel music at the Link Centre.
“We’ve been told we make an awful lot of noise for two people,” Reggie Harris said in a phone interview with the Daily Journal from a tour stop in Chicago. “It’s a delightful way to work. It’s very interesting to work with your partner and spouse of some 30 years. The great thing about making CDs is you can bring in other artists, and then when you’re performing live there’s a real desire to give people an idea of that, which we have a lot of fun creatively translating the material in a more intimate way.”
The pair write songs that touch on religion, society and politics, but they also write songs based on history. In fact, they’ll present songs of the Underground Railroad to students in Tupelo.
It all comes down to telling stories through music.
“We have friends who are just storytellers and they say, ‘You guys are storytellers.’ We really have developed stories that go along with the songs,” he said. “A lot of the songs have a story involved in them, or there are stories that inspired them. I think that sort of embodies the way that we work. We really are people who embrace story, whether it’s singing it or telling it. I think over the years we’ve had to recognize the fact that the two are pretty much inseparable.”
Harris said he hopes music fans walk away from a Kim and Reggie show feeling more positive.
“You never know what’s in the hearts and lives of the audience,” he said. “I think there are some important topics – freedom, justice – that are often hard to hear. But we want people to be involved with each other a little bit. Largely we really are trying to entertain, inspire and empower people in a sense. … If it gives them a little more inspiration or comfort of getting through the day, I think my job’s done.”
Monthly Music Mix
Who: Kim & Reggie Harris
When: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16
Where: Link Centre Concert Hall
Cost: $10/adults, $5/students
Info: (662) 690-4011