Jason Harrod is a Brooklyn-based performing songwriter known for generous melodies and poetic, image-rich lyrics. Jason made his mark as one-half of seminal Boston duo Harrod and Funck before venturing out on his own. Over years of constant writing, recording, and touring, Jason has garnered a devoted fan base which has steadily grown over time. With each of his releases, from Living in Skin to Bright As You to his collection of Christmas songs, Jason has grown with his audience. Now, with the release of his third solo release, Highliner, Harrod has reached a high watermark of musicality and poetry. Highliner is a collection of 11 sweeping, cinematic travelogues, filled with quirky narrative detail and propelled by Harrod's honey-dipped tenor, now clearer and more commanding than ever. Harrod often begins performances by stating that he sings of "God, Women, and Geography." He also sings of yearning to be set free, to take to the skies like that train on the cover (rendered by Vesper Stamper), and to be known, both by a warm human body, and by God almighty.
Produced by Philly-based Brian McTear (known for his work with Sharon Van Etten, The National, and Dr. Dog) Highliner has an earthier, folkier sound than Harrod's previous Nashville-polished release. While the songs lean on folk forms, they resist simple two-step treatments and, instead, bloom--especially in the back half of the record--with soaring, surprising melodies and fresh orchestral arrangements (courtesy of Joshua Stamper), adding a depth and lushness no previous Jason Harrod record has achieved. Harrod is a top-drawer songwriter, and there is no filler or mediocrity here.
“Snowstorm” is a 70's-rock-style celebration of American English and an offering of warm hope during a New York City blizzard. “Train” arrives as a driving ode to the subway riders Harrod bumps up against with every day. “When I Came Down Off the Mountain” soars and barnstorms through a colorful spiritual landscape. “Moon Mission,” a haunting love letter from a lonely spaceman, features Seattle-based singer-songwriter Shannon Stephens’ honey-dipped vocals wrapping around those of Harrod's to achieve a mesmerizing effect. The aforementioned Stamper pulls double duty, playing bass on the album while his Danielson Familie bandmate, Patrick Berkery, joins in on drums.
In addition to his fan following, Jason Harrod has earned the acclaim of industry leaders. In 2000, he won first place in the bluegrass category of MerleFest's Chris Austin Songwriting competition. The following year, he took first place in the North Carolina Songwriters Co-Op contest and followed that up with a 2002 appearance on Arthur Smith's Carolina Calling stage with Alison Krauss and Union Station. Jason was selected as a spotlight performer at the annual Healdsburg Guitar festival in 2009, sponsored by Acoustic Guitar Magazine, and in 2010 he was awarded a fellowship by the International Arts Movement in the prize's inaugural year. In 2012, Jason received a Fulbright grant to teach songwriting to students in Thessaloniki, Greece.
Jason has lived in Boston, Durham, and most recently New York, where he is the music director for a small church that meets in a black box theater on Manhattan's Lower East Side. He tours frequently throughout the US.
News & Updates
11/30/15: I've made my whole discography available for 50% off. That includes 4 solo albums, 2 Advent/Christmas EPs, and a few stray singles, available for $28.50. You can buy it for yourself or gift it to someone. Additionally, I have "Highliner" and "Highliner Acoustic" CDs and (gorgeous) "Highliner" LP records available, also for 50% off. You can check it all out here.
8/10/15: I have a new website! I said goodbye to my old, cumbersome, flash-based site. I'm still figuring out Squarespace so this is still very much under construction. Big West Coast tour coming out. WA, OR, CA. stay tuned.