Known the last decade primarily for his high-energy, high-volume, electrified country band and live show, JP Harris is at last (at risk of sounding cliché) truly returning to his roots. Before his colorful classic country career began, JP lived for well over a decade in a remote corner of the US with no electricity, running water, or winter road access; it was in this time that he picked up the banjo, and dove headlong into the world of old time stringband music. As a product of his living conditions, the unamplified, acoustic sounds and communal, almost trance-like melodies of old time jam sessions became the sole soundtrack to the lowly lit evenings of his late teens and twenties.
Upon picking up the banjo, JP Harris also began a luthier's apprenticeship with the late banjo maker Will Fielding; by the time he began building his own instrument, he had become obsessed with the 19th century sound of the fretless banjo, an incarnation predating its modern cousin and more akin to the African predecessors made of gourds and gut. In the absence of frets, JP could find what the fiddlers he played with called "the notes between the piano keys;" those same semitones were banned across the globe, across various empires throughout the last millennium, for the emotional responses elicited from listeners.
After eight years of building banjos, and spending a large part of the summer months roaming between fiddler's conventions across the country, JP caught the touring itch, formed his band JP Harris & The Tough Choices, and slowly let his passion for fiddle-and-banjo music take a backseat for the next chapter of his musical life.
Desiring the archaic tones and hypnotic rhythms of his past once again, JP began the side project "JP Harris' Dreadful Wind & Rain;" mining deep into memory and time, he performs a repertoire of obscure banjo ballads, 18th & 19th century folk songs of dark and sometimes sinister subject matter, and reinterprets old time standards in his own light. Accompanied by fiddle, vocal harmonies, and occasional guitar, he paints a clear retrospective of "the original country music."