No Surf Music


The No Surf Review


The Lowdown:

G.S. Harper

Based In:
Denver, Colorado



Interview Date:
September 28, 2014

Interview Location:
Music Box Supper Club, Cleveland, Ohio

Waiting for April (2002), Live from Cleveland (G.S. Harper and the Lonesome Tomatoes, 2006), The Belmont Sessions (G.S. Harper with Andrew Zeager, 2008), and Sixteen Winters (2014)

Americana, country, rock, alt country, country rock, heartland rock, singer-songwriter


Related Articles:

G.S. Harper



January 28, 2015



#35 G.S. Harper

by Jason D. 'Diesel' Hamad


G.S. Harper tears it up at his going away party at the Parkview Wednesday Night Blues Jam, one of Cleveland's longest-standing musical traditions. Photo by Jason D. 'Diesel' Hamad, No Surf Music.

Here at No Surf, we use the term No Surf Friend to signify artists of whom we’re especially fond and who have done something to distinguish themselves as supporters of what we’re trying to do here, which is, of course, to introduce our readers and listeners to great music. By that rubric, there’s no better friend than Texan-turned-Clevelander G.S. Harper. He’s an impressive songwriter who has be ubiquitous on the North Coast music scene for more than a decade and a half, which means he pretty much knows everybody worth knowing, and he’s never been shy about introducing us to musicians he knows we—and you—ought to discover. He’s also been a huge booster for his adopted home, shepherding a new generation of songwriters and talking up the town and its ever-growing music scene every chance he gets.

In fact, while we spent time during this interview discussing his powerful new album Sixteen Winters, because of his knowledge of Cleveland musical history—and his Texas-bred ability to tell a tale—much of our interview focused not so much on Harper himself, but on the North Coast music scene, both past and present. We discussed everything from his days leading the house band at the legendary Town Fryer to the infamous country punk band California Speedbag to the future of Cleveland, which he firmly believes is on the cusp of becoming a musical center on par with Austin or Nashville.

Ironically, given these subjects, this was also the first time Harper let slip that he was leaving Cleveland and moving to Denver, where his wife had found a new job, swearing me to silence until he had the chance to announce it himself. That was shocking enough, but I’ll tell you, one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was go downstairs and sit next to Kate Kooser, one of his latest protégés, and keep my mouth shut through the whole show and for the next several weeks.

This was the third time G.S. has done a Burning River Fireside Chat, but the first time we really got to talk about him, the first two having focused on Townes Van Zandt, to whom he pays tribute every year. And without a doubt, it’s one of my favorite interviews ever. So don’t miss this chance to learn a little about North Coast music from one of its most talented songwriters and storytellers, a man who will always be a Clevelander no matter where he goes a very good friend of No Surf Music, indeed, G.S. Harper.



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