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For Rio with Love

Although you may not have heard of him, you’ve without a doubt heard his music. Jesse Harris is no newcomer to the music biz; he has years of experience under his belt. Having collaborated with everyone from Smokey Robinson to Willie Nelson, and mastered guitar playing, singing, songwriting and producing, Harris is jack-of-all-trades.

While the guy already has a lot to brag about, the release of Harris’ latest album Sub Rosa is a game changer. This is the collection of songs that will undoubtedly put him on everyone’s map. The album was inspired and recorded last year in Brazil, meaning the sunshine, colors and culture of Rio de Janeiro shine brightly through the perfectly listless guitar riffs Harris plays so well. 

Harris says that music is to Brazil what food is to Italy; they just do it better than most. With the influences of South America seeping into his soul, the Sub Rosa album perfectly layers Harris’ traditional folk-pop sound with lively arrangements native to Brazil. 

The CD is flawlessly recorded and produced, the vocals are as pure and raw as you can get them, the instrumentals are unbelievably accomplished and the list of collaborators (like Norah Jones) is impressive. But don’t let the many collaborations mislead you, Sub Rosa is first and foremost a showcase of Jesse Harris’ undeniable talent. This time the big names are taking a back seat and letting Harris shine ever so confidently and with the perfect amount of charm. His live show is just as fine-tuned, go and see.

Harris plays 9 pm Saturday, Aug. 18, at Sam Bond’s, 407 Blair Blvd.; $5.