The Sharp and Harkins Band

by Cactus Joe
May 2009

Madison's The Sharp and Harkins Band

Madison's The Sharp and Harkins Band

“To Each His Own” is the newest album by Wisconsin acoustic rockers the Sharp and Harkins Band. Branching out from acoustic and folk roots, the record is a mix of styles, with the goal of capturing the band’s more rock-influenced live sound. Many of the 14 songs on the album sit solidly within the rock genre, while still retaining a loyalty to the acoustic and folk sincerity that has won them considerable acclaim.

“This album was more for us to do our own thing,” said Ryan Harkins, one of the founding members along with Andy Sharp. “Our first album was more acoustic based, influenced by Jack Johnson and Ben Harper. After playing live we evolved into more of a rock band and we wanted to show that in our new album.”
Harkins said the band’s influences have evolved as well. “We are listening to more Ryan Adams, Black Keys, Cold War Kids, and stuff like that,” he said.
The Sharp and Harkins Band delivers a well-produced slide guitar-rich acoustic rock sound on this CD. This is in no small part driven by the band’s funk-influenced rhythm section, Colin Schaeffer (drums & percussion) and Justin Barak (bass). Rounding out the 5-piece is the band’s newest member, Mike “Mouse” Adams, wailing on harmonica. Several guest musicians also appear on the album.

The band tours the south in April, hitting South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee and ending up back in Madison at the Great Dane on April 23.
“Our music is open to all ages,” Harkins said. “We are not cussing the whole time so kids can listen to it and older folks tend to like our stuff too. We cover Johnny Cash and stuff like that.”

“To Each His Own” follows from the band’s first studio effort “Alive Again.” Recording was started at E-Labs in Madison and finished at Artisan Studios in Chicago, the project studio of Nate Oberman, a platinum-record recording engineer and good friend of the band.

“To Each His Own” is currently available through the band’s web site and at Song to sample: “Shake You”

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Sharp and Harkins Band Online:

Sharp and Harkins Band
CD: To Each His Own Record Label: Self Released
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