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Joni Harms - JPop.com
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Joni Harms

Joni Harms

Joni Harms


Once upon a time, Country Music was known as “Country & Western.” It was so called for a reason, of course, since that’s where listeners found songs by such greats as Marty Robbins, Patsy Montana, Tex Ritter and Gene Autry — artists who favored the “western” sounds and values. Somewhere along the way, the “Western” was dropped and, over the past decade, the Country Music Industry has increasingly focused the more 70s and 80s pop flavored sounds in an effort to attract a younger audience. Read more on Last.fm
Once upon a time, Country Music was known as “Country & Western.” It was so called for a reason, of course, since that’s where listeners found songs by such greats as Marty Robbins, Patsy Montana, Tex Ritter and Gene Autry — artists who favored the “western” sounds and values. Somewhere along the way, the “Western” was dropped and, over the past decade, the Country Music Industry has increasingly focused the more 70s and 80s pop flavored sounds in an effort to attract a younger audience. “I personally can’t live without Western music,” says Joni Harms, whose new album is Let’s Put The Western Back In The Country (Wildcatter Records). “I like a lot of today’s country music, but the truth of the matter is that I’m very serious about keeping the western side of country music alive.” The sincerity in her voice is clear. On the 13 songs that fill Let’s Put The Western Back In The Country, Harms talks about family and home, enduring love, hard work and good, clean fun.

From the playful “Cowboy Up” (recently recorded by Chris LeDoux) to the chilling “The Wind,” Harms espouses a sound that is fresh and real. “The majority of the songs include lyrics of the west, because I love to write about things I’ve experienced,” she says. “Rodeo, cowboys and the ranch way of living shows through a lot in my music.” Indeed, Harms has been praised for her pure country voice since she signed her first record deal with the famed producer Jimmy Bowen for Capitol in the early 1990s. After that Harms moved to on to her celebrated Cowgirl Dreams (1999 / Warner Western). That release was followed by last year’s After All.

In 2003, Harms was named Female Vocalist of the Year and accepted the award for Song of the Year from the Western Music Association. She is also a multiple winner of Academy of Western Artists Awards, including the top honor of Entertainer of the Year for 2002, and she continues building audiences through appearances on the famed Grand Ole Opry and a recent stint at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. “Growing up, I learned to sing and write songs by listening to Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard and George Strait,” says Harms. “I remember seeing Emmylou Harris, and, after playing a while with the famous Hot Band, she came out on stage with just her black, Gibson guitar, and showed that she really is an artist. That’s what I try so hard to be able to do.

You shouldn’t need all that electronic computerized stuff to make your voice perfect. You just need your heart.” Harms lives in Oregon with her family on a ranch that was homesteaded by her great, great grandfather in 1870. They raise quarter horses and Christmas trees. Read more on Last.fm.

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