In It Together

Greg Harper

Emotive, beautiful, story songs, with a strong narrative and a sensitive, heartfelt core. Many with a moving environmental message.

"In It Together is the new album from Sussex based Greg Harper whose thought provoking, environmentally charged lyrics carry messages of warning but also of hope, because like me he seems to believe that the human race is much better than currently appears to be the case. The album's 12 songs were recorded at White Room Music in Worthing under the tutelage of multi-instrumentalist producer Paul Linale whose light touch seems to blend perfectly with Harper's song writing style. It will be of little surprise to the listener that Harper was a finalist in the 2008 UK Songwriting Awards. There is a live feel to many of the songs, and it leads me to conclude that Harper's voice was largely recorded in a single take. For me, the stand out songs on this album are actually those where the vocals are enhanced just a touch. "Sweet World" is among those, and presents a statement of intent for the songs to follow. It begins with a slight hint of psychedelia, reflecting something that Donovan might have written back in the day, probably about similar issues. Harper's simple but precise guitar playing and the subtle supportive string accompaniment give this album a perfect start. "After The Rain" further evokes a '60s spirit, delivering a ballad that expresses Harper's exasperation at the way in which his local environment is being impacted by the wider threat to our planet: 'the Lavant's been dry all summer long' supports the Environment Agency's warning in 2016 that the water courses of south east England are drier than parts of north Africa. This is a minimalistic song whose sombre mood is subtley lifted by Nigel Ratcliffe's piano. "Unspoken" surprises with an electric guitar introduction, and contains some of the album's best lyric moments: "No more the pear drop drifts of choking cloud / No more the goodnight kiss in a dead man's ground / It's all forgotten now". The song is a gentle warning that if you don't have the courage to raise concerns about the things you feel passionately about you are likely to suffer the consequences of your inaction. At more than 5 minutes, "Murmurs" feels a little long, but like all of these songs it is lyrically very strong. By contrast, and to lift the mood, "Cynical" is punchy with a light rockabilly pace. Harper considers this might be a single contender had he decided to release a single from the album, and I wholeheartedly agree. This is another song of exasperation, this time commenting on the way in which we are manipulated by politicians and media "the bigots and the blighters and the newshound thieves" pointing a finger at isolationists and their unthinking supporters. "The River" is another longer track and it has a gorgeous feel to it. If there is a radio edit somewhere this might also be a single contender. So too is "Jezebel", where again Linale adds that light touch of production to the vocal. I love the 'live feel' that Harper achieves throughout this work but there is something very uplifting in the mix of this and the two versions of "Sweet World". I wonder if "Nightingale" is a song for carers everywhere. Lyrically on a par with "Murmurs", it is a stamp of Harper's empathy, his awareness of the world around him and how it affects the minutiae of our lives. "The Story", like "Cynical" carries a gentle warning, pleading that we should open our eyes, and realise that the things we are taught and the things we are encouraged to believe all too frequently crumble under a challenge. Co-written with Paul Linale, "Sweet World (Reprise)" lifts the mood with a beautiful reintroduction of strings. Some would say that the reprise feels a little out of place, but it provides space for thought from messages of the previous song and I think works really well. "No Damn Illusion" is the third song that Harper sees as a potential single, but I guess that will depend on his target audience. For supporters of environmental causes he would have a point, but as a more general single release the message is probably a little 'in your face', albeit a necessary wake up call. It's a ballad with the message that we are wrecking our own world - "ravaged the garden, of all that he sowed", but like all these songs it also carries the thought that we can still do something to reverse the decline. Harper's spirit of optimism and ultimate faith in the human race comes across loud and proud in "Feel The Power", a song of empowerment with a light rockabilly feel. There are a couple of songs on the album where you can almost hear a Buddy Holly voice. What is especially nice here is that the song is fuelled by local references. It seems to be saying that the small improvements we make locally can collectively make a big difference to all of our lives. This album exudes empathy, and a connection with the world around us. Harper is a consummate songwriter whose lyrics are heartfelt, and deliver his messages with a passion. John Reed

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Bricks & Dust

Greg Harper

A lyricist's dream. Beautifully crafted, insightful songs, about our place in the world, and the effect that we are having upon it.

Bricks & Dust is an album which touches on many facets of our modern life, and the way in which, as a race we behave. There are songs which touch on environmental issues, such as the plight of the bees and the loss of other wildlife in 'Gossamer Wings' and 'No Answer' and the subject of fracking in 'Cool Clear Water. There are songs that relate to the futility and endless pursuit of war, such as 'Just Waitin' and 'All Been Done Before'. There are songs too of serene beauty, and for an appreciation of life, and the countryside that surrounds us, in 'The Downs' and 'Good Life'. You will recognise it all.

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Colours

Greg Harper

Contemplative songs about our country, history, loves and lives.

"To be able to compress the essence of a story, the emotion, the cause and effect into four and a half minutes takes a rare talent and one that Greg Harper seems to have in his soul..." --- Fatea Magazine

"1960s poetic folk --Dylan, Baez, Phil Ochs, Simon & Garfunkel, et al--is the music of my 20s, and your music and lyrics take me back to that era and put me in mind of those artists, their language and music---simply presented, deeply felt". --- Kathleen Betsko

"Great songs" --- Steve Knightley

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Well Spun Lies

Greg Harper

'Listen carefully. The words are precious.' .... thought provoking and award winning lyrics laid over gentle melodies.

'Well Spun Lies' from Greg Harper - Delicious self-penned songs.

"Well Spun Lies is an album of delicious self-penned songs delivered by an English songwriter writing about his country, his experiences and the intense emotions that move his soul. The warm richness of his vocals overlay simply constructed yet enticing melodies to make this album a thought-provoking listen -- just prepare to weep as the words cut to your core.

Greg explores his firm love of his country through songs such as 'Something's Changed' to make a last-ditch stand against the disposable society that tries to make so many values outdated. By way of contrast 'Sweet River' although casting a sorrowful note, recalls the enduring wonder and gentle quiet of rural England. With the emotive 'Voices In The Wind' his lyrics grieve for the rampant urbanisation and highway construction madness that desecrates the South Downs in Sussex.

His native obligation to England's past is also reflected in his songs about her history and the people involved. 'Capel-le-Ferne' is Greg's homage to the young men who defended his country from the air in 1940. Inspired by the Battle of Britain memorial site at Capel-le-Ferne, the song tells its tale from an old man's view as a once-young fighter pilot recalls intense moments of exhilaration and fear in the war-torn skies. Perhaps at his storytelling best with 'November Sky' inspired by 'Blitz-The Bombing of Coventry' Greg relates the first-hand accounts from survivors of the German Luftwaffe's night-bombing of Coventry on 14th November 1940.

There's also a selection of reflective and desperate songs exploring the joy and hate relationships can cause. The passion roams from the cautionary tale of 'Well Spun Lies' through the effortless love contained within 'Always And Forever' to the harrowing anguish of 'Road To Nowhere' -- all carried unswervingly on their way by Greg's evocative vocals and mellow guitar".

Playing alongside Greg on 'Well Spun Lies' are Chris Davis (mandolin) Gary Holder (double bass, tuba) Tom Holder (keyboards) Gary Mobsby (harmony vocals) ...FolkWords...

Well Spun Lies has also received the following review from Fatea magazine:

"I've always been impressed by the observational singer/songwriters that are as much storytellers as they are composers. To be able to compress the essence of a story, the emotion, the cause and effect into four and a half minutes takes a rare talent and one that Greg Harper seems to have in his soul...His song from the perspective of a Battle Of Britain veteran sheer poetry"

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Songs Of Remembrance

Greg Harper

Lest we forget..... Songs to contemplate and Remember

"Songs to Contemplate and Remember" AROUND KENT FOLK MAGAZINE

BIRDSONG... A song inspired by a WW1 Memorial, in Mouse Lane near Steyning, West Sussex. A song that compares the simple beauty of life that a man had prior to the war, compared to the one that he now found himself in as a soldier, fighting in the trenches of the First World War.

DELVILLE WOOD... This song was inspired by a visit to this most moving place in The Somme Battlefields of France, early one summer morning. The wood was the site of an horrific struggle in early July 1916, as part of the 'Battle of The Somme'. Many thousands of lives were lost by both sides in the conflict as a battle was fought to capture this woodland. Amongst many though, the worst casualties of all were suffered by the South African Brigade. This song is dedicated to the men of the South African Brigade who fought, died, and still lie in Delville Wood.

SO LITTLE GAIN... A poignant song inspired by images from the Cenotaph, the all too brief obituaries in the news about the soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the most moving scenes of their repatriation coming from RAF Lyneham and the small Wiltshire town of Wootton Bassett.

GOODBYE FRIEND... A song for a lost friend, never forgotten.

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Unadorned

Greg Harper

Human story songs told by award winning lyrics laid over gentle melodies.

"I have listened and listened to 'Mary Lou' and have to say it reduced me to tears. The words to it are spot on. You have encapsulated those raw feelings of grief and injustice. It's an amazing song". Pat Curtis.

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"Listen carefully. The words are precious."

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