Harper and Midwest Kind / Bio

An amalgamation of blues, rock, funk, soul and world music, Australian singer/ songwriter "Peter D. Harper" creates a heady mix of roots music through his creative use of the harmonica, and the haunting drone of the didgeridoo. By combining traditional and modern influences, borrowing from Western and World music, Harper has created a highly original take on the roots genre which many have labeled "World Blues". His innovative use of electronic enhancement and feedback, breaks the traditional boundaries of the harmonica, giving his music its distinctive harmonics and effects. The powerful guitar sounds and the unique drone of the didgeridoo create raw yet eerie sonic textures, some how sounding primal and contemporary at the same time.

Born in the United Kingdom, Harper’s musical journey began early, performing in brass bands playing the trumpet and euphonium. At the age of ten, his family moved half way round the world to Perth, Western Australia, and his Grandfather introduced Harper to the harp. In Perth, one of the most isolated cities in the world, there was a thriving blues and folk scene. The blues had a rawness, an honesty and a passion of the soul which spoke to Harper deeply. Then, like every blues lover, Harper began his journey backwards to discover the deeper roots of the music. It was a chance meeting with a Hopi "Dan Running Bear" in Silverton, Colorado, that led him down the path to rediscovering the music of his homeland. Fascinated with the spirituality and culture of the American Natives, he found the same qualities present in the Australian Aborigines of his homeland. On adding the native didgeridoo to his music, Harper says "It is a sound I grew up with, so it seemed natural to add it to my songwriting particularly when the lyrics related to the plight of the Aborigines in Australia. When I added the didgeridoo to the more traditional blues instruments, it worked. The deep woody qualities and its haunting drone seemed to enhance the emotional quality of my stories. The didgeridoo is a spiritual and healing instrument, and it seemed blues music accepted it with open arms. I also owe my life to a tribe of nomadic Aborigines who saved my father and I from starvation when we were trapped at The Fitzroy Crossing (Western Australia), in between two fast flowing river torrents. They gave us enough food and water to last us until the flood had subsided. I feel my music is my way of giving back to these wonderful people".

Harper has received multiple Australian Blues awards for "Male Vocalist of the Year", "Song of the Year" and "Acoustic Artist of the Year" (TREV). He has performed for the Queen of England and has received a Gold Record for "Sailing Australia" (America's Cup Theme). Harper has also been a guest harmonica player for US Super group "Journey" and blues legend Muddy Waters on his Western Australian tour. Harper was also inducted into the Blues Museum Hall of Fame in Windsor Canada, in late 2011. Harper was Blind Pig Records (USA)very first International signing. Harper's "Down to The Rhythm" (2005) and "Day By Day" (2007) CDs (Blind Pig Records) received top ten airplay on Billboard and the Roots Music Report. His " Stand Together” CD (Blind Pig Records) was nominated for a 2011 Detroit Music Award and it reached no 10 on Billboard and number 1 on XM Sirius National Radio Network, Harper was listed in the top concerts for the City of Chicago two years in a row. His 2012 release "Live At The Blues Museum" (Blu Harp Records) reached number one on XM/ Sirius and received "Best Live CD" from Blues 411 in New York. Described by Rambles Magazine as " master Chicago Styled harmonica player" Harper has performed regularly with The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra" and been featured on many major film sound tracks. Windsor, Canada's Television network- CFTV 34 recently aired "An Evening with Peter Harper" in the Spring of 2013. Harper received "A Happy to Have the Blues Award, Best Instrumentalist, 2013" by "Big City RnB Magazine (USA). Harper won a 2014 Detroit Music Award for "Outstanding Vocalist". He also received an amazing FIVE nominations for the 2014 Detroit Music Awards! Harper and Midwest Kind were featured nationwide on PBS USA Television "Back Stage Pass" (USA) in March, 2015 and syndicated worldwide. Harper has been nominated for 2 x 2015 Detroit Music Awards!

His latest CD "Show Your Love" (Blu Harp) charted in the Top Ten on Billboard hitting # 5 / Roots Music Report hitting #6 for ten weeks as well as hitting # 1 in Europe, # 1 in Australia. US Magazine - "Reflections in Blues" describes Harper as "A singer/songwriter and masterful musician, who brings his stories to life with his unique blend of styles that incorporates elements of blues, soul, folk, R&B. Harper's work on the harmonica is superb". While UK's Blue Bird Reviews gives "Show Your Love" the thumbs up ..."many moments of true brilliancy. Harper's new album is, undoubtedly, the pinnacle of his career so far" Harper is backed by his talented Detroit based band "Midwest Kind" : Michael Howe Junior on guitar, James Norris on Bass Guitar and Mario Copeland on Drums.
Detroit Music Award "Outstanding Vocalist" (2014)
Best Instrumentalist "Big City Blues Magazine" USA (2013)
Best Live CD "Blues 411", New York. USA (2012)
Inducted into the Blues Museum Hall of Fame, Canada South Blues Society, Windsor Canada. (2011)
The Bronte Blues Awards, United Kingdom "Best Instrumentalist" (2009)
Acoustic Artist of the Year TREV, Australia (2005)
Male Vocalist of the Year - "Australian Blues Awards" (2004)
Song of the Year "Australian Blues Awards", (2004)
Album of the Year, Nasty Harp, Sweet Harp Awards- "Guide to Best of the Blues Harmonicas and Beyond" USA . "Way Down Deep Inside" CD. (2003)
Raw Talent Awards Number 1 Song "Never Change the Way She Feels", Australia (2001)
Duke Award Yamaha Rock, Australia (2001)
Gold Record "Sailing Australia" America's Cup Theme (2000)

General Info

Band Members
Peter D Harper - Vocals
Artist Name
Harper and Midwest Kind
Profile Page
Blues / World Music / Roots Music

Contact Info

Grass Lake, MI
Bobbi Llewellyn

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