Writing a story about SHB (the Steve Harris Band) is actually the telling of two tales. One is a veritable synopsis of local rock music history, the other a tale of friendship, respect, and commitment to the dreams, spirit, and aspirations of a good friend. To understand who they are and what they are about, we need to tell the second story first.
SHB started as a studio session group. The late Steve Harris, singer/guitarist, approached several musician friends, with his desire to record an album of his own songs. After a lot of hard work, the album Confidential Balance of Time: Steve Harris was released, in 1997. Steve aggressively tried to find a major label to market his work, but like many aspiring artists, his efforts went unrewarded. Undaunted, but a little wiser, Steve and his friends began work on a second album, edgier and more rock-oriented. This became Sin City: Boscoe, Carlos, & Ramone, (released 1999). During the recording/production phase of this project, Steve became ill and was diagnosed with cancer, which ultimately took his life. As his illness took an increasing toll, studio mates Pat Kelley and Al Banfield pressed on to complete the work of their friend. Other performers were enlisted to finish production of Sin City, which was released shortly after Steve’s untimely death. Although they were grieving for their friend, Al and Pat knew their work was not yet complete.
During the recording of the first two albums, Steve recorded several other songs, that for various reasons were unfinished or unused. They, and songs yet to be written, were destined for a third album, to complete a musical trilogy. Phyllis Cox, Jeff Cartwright, and Lance Shaffner had all been involved in the recording of Sin City. They, C W Creasey, Pat, and Al agreed to finish at least two of Steve’s songs and write songs of their own to complete the trilogy. Steve’s brothers Dan, Jim, and George Harris also wrote and played on the collection of songs that became Forever Friends: the Steve Harris Band, which was released in a limited edition promotional version this spring. That album is a reflection of their love and respect for the spirit and aspirations of their brother and friend.
The band members are all self-proclaimed “well-seasoned veterans” of the local bar/club scene. (See line-up below.) Most of them had performed together in various other local groups, although never as a unit. They bring a diverse legacy of tastes and styles to their musical table. That diversity has created a synergy, which brings out the best in their respective creativities’. The sound is eclectic, yet very accessible. Intelligent lyrics, showcased with strong vocal and guitar harmonies, combine with an excellent rhythm section to produce some very listenable original music. Interestingly, all three albums were recorded in Clark County, Illinois at Weaver Road Studio. (Located somewhere in the heart of legendary Fishback.)
SHB performs live only sparingly, because the members all have personal commitments to their “day jobs.” They made their debut, as a group, at the Crossroads Artsfest in Terre Haute this spring. The initial performance of Forever Friends was well received by an enthusiastic crowd. As a special note, proceeds from the sales of all three albums are ear-marked for the Hope Center, in Terre Haute, Indiana, in the name of Steve Harris. The money is used to assist cancer patients with their expenses.
CURRENT BAND LINE-UP
Additionally: Numerous other artists appeared on all three albums. Please refer to album notes for a complete listing, in case we forget anyone.