“I believe we’re unfolding in the most extraordinary way.” So go the words to “Extraordinary”, a song on Gravity and Faith, the 2008 studio album from Chicago-based singer-songwriter and fiddler Anne Harris. While the lyric may be referring to a shift in global consciousness, the words couldn’t ring more true for the artist herself, especially over the past year or so.
With the release of Gravity and Faith, Harris delivered her strongest, most compelling work to date, her voice exuding a revealing honesty, clarity and deep-rooted strength and her fiddle playing at its most emotionally engaging. ConcertLiveWire.com said the record “boasts a carefully crafted blend of violin-infused pop/rock arrangements, the occasional folk flavoring and introspective lyricism” while the Illinois Entertainer said her work is “brimming with socially conscious, and at times, intensely personal lyrics as memorable as thought-provoking.”
Fresh on the heels of Gravity and Faith, Harris released another record in 2008, Live at the Acorn Theater, a project which was born of converging desires to create a live record and revisit some of her earlier songs.
Such a period of intense focus on her own music made it all the more refreshing when her creativity as an instrumentalist became increasingly in demand. Before the year was out Harris would find herself as a guest violinist with psychedelic 70’s legend Jefferson Starship and touring regularly with world renown trance-blues innovator, Otis Taylor, having appeared with the latter at the 2009 Blues Music Awards in Memphis (where Taylor won “Instrumentalist of the Year, Banjo”), Chicago Blues Festival, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, Jazz Aspen Snowmass and the Telluride Blues Festival. Anne finds performing other people’s music to be an exciting opportunity for in-the-moment creativity and discovery and the experience ultimately influences her own writing, leading her into new territory.
Between tour dates with Taylor, Harris has been performing with her band, writing, evolving and working on what’s next. No less than you’d expect from an artist who’s clearly unfolding in the most extraordinary way.