Highland Lakes

Country Club and Community Association

Band of Changes to perform at Clubhouse on July 25

Following in the footsteps of its successful “soft” launch, the Highland Lakes Concert Series welcomes Band of Changes to the Clubhouse’s Seckler Stage on Friday, July 25. Doors open at 7pm, tickets are $5, children 12 and under get in free (BYOB).

Founded and led by guitarist/songwriter/painter Chris Harford (www.chrisharford.com), Band of Changes is a continuously revolving door of well-known, talented musicians who deftly support Harford’s intricate, Americana-infused soundscapes. Harford’s music comes at you with unmistakable immediacy thanks to throaty vocals that draw you into his woodsy, roots-oriented compositions, and his band’s tastefully understated musical chops.

The band’s latest record, “Lay the Passage: Songs for the Antediluvian” is an entrancing 16-song collection that leans predominantly more toward acoustic campfire ballads than barn-fire rockers, but Harford and his bandmates handle it all with enthusiasm and a refreshing sense of spontaneity. 12_BandofChangesAlong with Harford, the July 25 lineup of Band of Changes will feature guitarist Mickey Melchiondo (aka Dean Ween), bassist Dave Dreiwitz (Ween, Sparklehorse), and drummer Joe Russo (Further w/Phil Lesh and Bob Weir).

HL: You’re an accomplished singer/songwriter as well as an acclaimed painter. Is there anything you aren’t good at? Do you consciously put on different hats when the muse starts whispering in your ear?

Harford: I didn’t always change hats, but now that I’m older I need to make decisions about my approach, and put deadlines in place. The way my life goes now, everything has to be compartmentalized. I give myself time each month to write music, I paint in a rush before shows, and try to work a regular job when I’m not playing music or painting. Painting is my peaceful time, and music is something I do with other people, but I’m not too good at general life skills. I can’t get my marketing and accounting skills together whatsoever, and they’re both important ingredients on top of me always striving to be a better human being in general.

HL: How large is the current pool of musicians in Band of Changes?

Harford: It’s currently around 200 different musicians, which is really quite extraordinary. For example, this past Saturday I had gig down in Frenchtown, NJ. On that night my band included a drummer named Jim Hines. I had never heard him play before, but he tours with Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys, so I had to assume he can play. The keyboard player that night was George Laks, who has played with Lenny Kravitz for 20 years. Basically, friends will tell me about a musician, and if I like what I hear I’ll ask them to participate. I enjoy it when the band meets for first time on stage. Everyone is an accomplished player, and I’ve been doing some of these songs for a long time, so these new musicians come in and bring an original take. It can be a recipe for a train wreck, but most of the time it’s magical…

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