Two short years ago, I witnessed The Harmed Brothers make their debut at The Whispering Beard Festival and was forever changed by a band from Oregon. Not only are they talented musicians, but the duo and foundation of The Harmed Brothers, Ray Vietti and Alex Salcido, have made a second home and name for themselves in our great city of Cincinnati. No strangers to life on the road, zigzagging across states to play for friends everywhere, The Harmed Brothers are once again geared up and touring in support for their next and fourth record, set to release in February. Of course they are making a pit stop in one of their favorite cities. Once again this year our friends will grace us with their harmonies and down to earth charm at The Beard with bandmates, Troy Broat and Ben Kilmer, for the third consecutive year at The Beard. I sat down with Ray Vietti to discuss the band’s next record, their love for Cincinnati, and of course The Beard!
CB: This summer will be your third year at The Beard. Besides the behind the scenes whiffle ball tournament and bonfire singalongs, what should fans expect?
RV: Well, we are one of the late night performers this year (Saturday night), so we are gearing up to show the Beardo's a different side of The Harmed Brothers that maybe they haven't seen yet - bit of the old fashioned raucousness that we haven't let loose of in awhile. We have a lot of friends out there these days too, so look for some special guests throughout the evening.
CB: It’s no rumor that you are a fan of our great city of Cincinnati. For Opening Day, Ray wrote a tune to celebrate, A Song for Reds Fans. What inspired Ray to write the song?
RV: A Song for Reds Fans happened in about ten minutes the night before my first solo tour in a long time. The first date was at the Folk School Coffee Parlor in Ludlow, KY, and I was getting pretty excited to come see my pals. The Harmed Brothers love of all things baseball. Baseball is no secret, and Cincinnati is one of the great baseball towns. The friends I have made in the city are all huge baseball fans, and a few of them still play on a weekly basis. I guess it was a combination of love for a game and the fine people of Cincy that pushed that out of me. I must say though; I am not a Reds fan. I grew up sharing love for the Mighty Royals of Kansas City and the ever hated Red Birds of St. Louis and still hold both those teams in my heart. (Thanks for Cueto by the way!) So in writing the tune I had to put my home state allegiance aside to "damn the red birds," but it was all worth it when I sang that song the day after I wrote it for the people I wrote it for. Big Dan had me recording it the next day, and we are still trying to get me out in the field singing it out at Great American. Hey, it could happen.
CB: The Harmed Brothers seem like real, down-to-earth, good people. When you aren’t making music, what do you like to do for entertainment?
RV: We are pretty chill folks, really. When we aren't on the road you can likely find us writing new tunes on a porch, having a catch in the yard, out at a show, or deep in a Netflix coma. Haha!
CB: You are currently working on your next album, set to release in February. Have you selected a title? Is there an overlying theme to the album?
RV: Tentatively we are calling it The Harmed Brothers. Yep, self-titled. This record is a collection of songs, new and old, that we felt maybe didn't see the best treatment when recorded the first time - songs we really wanted to give a new skin and are really happy with how it came out. Just hoping we can get it out the fans now.
CB: I know it takes a lot of work, dedication, of course dough to produce an album, even at times, reducing to lemonade stands. What can fans do to ensure this album is released on time?
RV: We really need all the help we can get right now. We really do! We have a fundraiser going right now where fans can preorder the new album in a lot of formats and some other fun stuff you could spring for too! Please check it out, and PLEASE, PLEASE spread the word! It's right here at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-harmed-brothers-new-album.