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I have spent little time on RN of any of the social media for the past two months. I have been working on my dissertation, the craft of music, and my health over this time and have not had time for social networking. It is unfortunate because the value of SN is high; however, the cost is losing touch with the actual life that is occuring in our world and Universe. We are at a time in history where I believe the human race is more confussed than ever and it dawns on me that discussions about how to solve our problems aren't even occuring because we are so caught up arguing over idealogies. When I was very young my father told me he had a vision of me helping people to see the bridge that connects diversity. Suddenly, music became only one mechanism for such thoughts. I would like to engage in meaningful discussion with anyone interested in discussing solutions because the future for our children and our race is uncertain unless we unify for a vision and mission or worthy purpose.
Well folks, no more delays, no more excuses, I must finish my dissertation! Music is such a wonderful mechanism for connecting, communicating, and understanding the experiences of our fellow passengers on this lovely planet. If I am slow to respond it is not because I do not listen but rather that my plate is full and I must savor every moment.
We are putting the final changes on a new release called “I Need You” and expect to unveil the song over the next few days. We recorded the tracks on March 27. The tracks contain vocals from Chris McRae, sax from James McRae, drums by Chris Pitha, and yours truly on the keys. The basic chords and melodies of the song were competed several years ago; however, Chris Pitha and I have been working with the arrangement and we are excited about the final product to come. The brothers McRae provide a wonderful dimension to the performance. Stay tuned and thanks for your support!
Music: Jeff Harvey Lyrics: Steve Wagner It’s Better to be Happy is an uplifting and positive song written by Jeff Harvey and Steve Wagner. The premise of the libretto suggests the one should find peace and happiness within and trust the creator with purpose of life. Jeff Harvey and the Band of Brothers recorded the song on March 26th, 2013. The Band of Brothers is comprised of Jeff Harvey, Chris Pitha, Chris McRae, and James McRae. The following is a bit of background behind the participants in writing and performing the work. Chris McRae (Lead Vocals) is a gifted music student at the University of Stevens Point. Chris plays the trombone, drums, guitar, piano, and sings. Chris also is majoring in Jazz and Theatre. Chris has a pure sound in his voice and is perfectly suited for the lead vocals. James McRae (Sax and Background Vocals) is also a gifted musician. James’ versatility finds him playing saxophone, guitar, piano, and vocals. James attended Marquette University as a Music Major. James is also a performer with the Swingtime Big Band in Appleton, WI. The Swingtime Big Band is one of the most popular 20 piece orchestras in the Fox Cities area. The two brothers, Chris and James, blend nicely in the lead and background vocals. Jeff Harvey (Keyboards) is an experienced songwriter and composer. Jeff has written hundreds of songs and, as CEO of Jeff Harvey Songs LLC, is in the process of producing the music for publication and enjoyment of both participants and listeners. Chris Pitha (Drums) is an accomplished percussionist. Chris enjoys jazz fusion; however, is multi-faceted as demonstrated in his ability to adapt to many styles of music. Steve Wagner (Lyrics) is a Doctor of Philosophy having attended the University of Michigan. Steve is a positive soul and often writes lyrics associated with one’s ability to look on the bright side while giving the best effort for the betterment of humankind. The four performers are all related in some way, a story for another blog, and this gave rise to the name “Band of Brothers”. The basic tracks of the song were recorded in the infamous “Drum Shack” located in Arizona. Sax and vocals were completed at the offices of Jeff Harvey Songs LLC. We are proud to present It’s Better to be Happy to the world.
With the headlines the way they are today, one could spend time concerned with the future of humankind and certainly, that is a concern; however, music has been a salvation for me throughout my lifetime and now with the resurgence of creativity, I am enjoying life to the fullest. I no longer have the time or the proclivity to focus on those events that I cannot control. Instead, creativity, health, and self-development are at the core of my vision and mission. Chris Pitha and I have recorded hundreds of hours of material and we are sifting through and learning from the good performances and from the opportunities. In addition, I have lost 85 lbs over the past 6 months and now feel fantastic. Finally, I am nearing completion of my doctorate and am looking forward to applying the research techniques necessary for the program to every aspect of my life and business. I am thankful for your friendship and support and hope that you have a peaceful, happy, and fruitful life. I am glad that you are a part of the world and hope that you can embrace this moment for it is truly all that we have.
Chris Pitha and I had a wonderful time playing the show (8/25) at the Red Owl. We had quite a few friends and fans show up to support us and about 150 total listeners in attendance while we performed our set. The crowd was engaged and appreciative of the effort. We would like to share many thanks to our friends and fans for supporting us. Special thanks to Dave Aston of Afton Concerts and Ryan (soundman) for supporting the effort. We really enjoyed the opportunity. Also many thanks to the other entertainers that shared their talent. It was a great show!
Chris Pitha and I have known each other and have been working together for many years. We co-wrote a song called 13th south. We just completed a live version of the song on posted it for your listening pleasure. It is an exciting work with some great musical parts that take virtuoso technique on both the drums and keyboards to play. I really hope you have a chance to listen and enjoy. Thanks for your support!
On Saturday June 30th, the team at Jeff Harvey Songs got back into live performance after ten years of hiatus. In prior years, the band performed at concerts and venues ranging in attendance from thousands to hundreds and spanning from concert halls to Las Vegas show rooms. In August of 2012, the team decided to start recording and writing. Additionally, we decided to get back into live performance. In the meantime, health and energy became a strong focus for me. I met Shaun Miller, Herbalife nutrition specialist, and Frank Johnson and team at South Mountain Nutrition center (Phoenix, AZ). In addition, I set up a training schedule with George at the Prodigy training center. Not only am I feeling years younger we are also producing new material exponentially! Frank, Shaun, and the team gave us our opportunity to get out in front of people and play our songs. We played 3 hours of original material and met over 100 new people. It was a great time and a good first step. Thanks to everyone for their support and encouragement as we bring our music and positive energy back into this world.
Over the past eight weeks, the team at Jeff Harvey Songs focused on the production of “Big Leagues”. The song, in its original form, was three and a half minutes long. While rehearsing at Chris Pitha’s infamous drum shack the creative duo devised an orchestral introduction and additional section for the song rounding it out to the current ten minute and fifty second song. It is an epic production and we are certain you will enjoy the listening pleasure of “Big Leagues”. We believe it will be well invested time in the listen. I would like to thank all those involved in production: Lead vocal: Chris McRae, Backup vocals: Chris McRae, yours truly Jeff Harvey, and Jean O’Donnell. I am at the keys and last but certainly not least Chris Pitha on percussion. We are very proud of the effort and hope you will enjoy the song. “Big Leagues” is available for download at the company store. We appreciate your continued support for Jeff Harvey Songs!
Those that are following our posts and communications are probably aware of our effort to produce the song “Big Leagues”. The project is nearing completion and has been a wonderful experience. We have been working on the song well over two months. I composed an orchestral introduction and thus far, the production has 34 tracks of music timbres. Chris McRae will be providing the lead vocal with four-part harmony backup on the chorus. We will also be combining four part choral parts for the interludes sections. The final additions will be lead guitar work that we have arranged with Bill Foss. Bill is an internationally renowned visual artist, recording artist, musician, and teacher, and has exhibited his artwork and performed concerts across the continental United States as well as Europe. Bill is the guitarist on one of our previous tracks “That’s Alright”. Chris Pitha is playing the drums using Roland virtual drums and in doing so, is providing an outstanding rhythm bed for the piece. I am on the keys and synth parts and I wrote the music and lyrics. The production of “Big Leagues” will be well worth the wait. The piece is over 10 minutes long and we are certain that it will be time well spent in listening pleasure when we release the song. Current timeline and hope is that we will have this production completed within the next three weeks and will keep you posted. Thank you so much for the outpour of support and the community of friends, colleagues, and artists that bring so much richness to our lives.