JP Harris doesn’t fancy himself so much a musician as he does a carpenter who writes country songs. He has traveled the country, often alone, hitchhiking and hopping freight trains while making his living as a farm laborer, shepherd, woodsman, and carpenter, among other things. Still an in-demand carpenter to this day, Harris has been writing and performing Country music for nearly a decade. His two previous albums garnered fans and critics at major outlets like Rolling Stone. JP was also referenced by Eagles frontman Don Henley in a 2015 interview a new artist making “thoughtful, authentic music.”
With his latest album “Sometimes Dogs Bark at Nothing,” he’s back after a four- year hiatus to remind folks what a lifetime dedicated to country music looks and sounds like. Sure to please fans of his hardscrabble earlier work, this new release also finds the acclaimed songwriter and vocalist stretching himself musically and personally.
Working with producer (and Old Crow Medicine Show member) Morgan Jahnig, Harris tapped a handful of his favorite players, sent them acoustic demos of the album’s tracks, and gave some pretty specific instructions: “Take the next five days to think about these. Please write notes of whatever ideas come to mind. Please don’t talk to each other about it. Let’s all just get in the studio on day one and compare notes as we go.”
The resulting sessions had an air of spontaneity and palpable creative energy, both of which lent themselves to an album that feels real, raw, and more akin to a live performance than anything Harris has put out thus far.