al stewart

Kim and Reggie Harris

beach full of shells

Kim and Reggie Harris
Get on Board! Underground Railroad & Civil Rights Freedom Songs * Vol 2


“Kim and Reggie Harris have become two of the greatest musical scholars of the blight on American history called slavery, and the small ray of hope called the Underground Railroad which leads to songs of civil rights and freedom. Get On Board is their second CD devoted to this subject. . . . Reggie arranged most of the traditional songs, always with just the right touch. . . . Plenty of great instrumental accompaniment percolates through the recording as well . . . This recording is full of energy, lively performances from strong voices, old favorites and intriguing recent compositions, and thoughtfulness in presentation. What are you waiting for? Get on board with Kim and Reggie.”              – Rich Warren, Sing Out!, Summer 2007

“Slave songs and other musical artifacts of early African America would certainly not disappear without the caretaking of Kim and Reggie Harris. It’s doubtful, though, that anyone would bring them so thoroughly to life. This husband-and-wife team performs these songs, though born from injustice, with a buoyant spirit that opens them to all listeners. Their secret is in the smiles – you can hear them in the shape of the words – that reflect their faith in the triumph of righteousness. . . . Following the timeless spirituals, modern recollections of the Underground railroad, and jazzy touches, the album peaks on the penultimate track, ‘Row de Boat,’ am ambitious mix of melody and rap declamation. . . . the exuberance and festivity are impossible to resist.”
– Robert L. Doerschuk, No Depression


“Through classic spirituals, gospel and American folk songs, the Harrises, along with a troupe of guest artists, pay homage to those who came before them with the utmost respect and reverence. Consequently, their work is impeccable and well worth the fourteen songs included here. . . . From the highly informative CD booklet, which tells a story about each of the 14 songs, to the authentic and inspired performances on the disc, Get On Board is an excellent addition to any folk library. (5 stars)”
– Kim Ruehl,

“Combining folk, gospel, blues, and a bit of rap, the Harrises gather a range of guests to create a powerful collection of songs associated with the quest for African American equality. . . . This is historically important material, true to its traditional heritage, yet delivered with a fresh, lively contemporary folk flair. Recommended.”
– Gene Hyde, CD Hotlist for Libraries


“. . . It is interesting to find fourteen year old Rap singer Jonathan ‘Baby Jay’ Gutierrez adding his talent to a superb version of ‘Row de Boat.’ . . . Get On Board is a serious collection of songs, many of which date back to the days of slavery, a number of which are defiant calls for Civil Rights but all, in their own way, inspirational. The stripped down style of delivery does not suggest that this is a ‘commercial’ album but is rather aimed at those who share the duo’s abiding passion for freedom, equality, and the preservation of traditional folk songs, which in other hands could so easily be trivialized. . . Will be received with as much interest and enthusiasm as Steal Away.”
– Larry Kelly, Maverick, UK


“Wonderful . . . While Kim and Reggie Harris are clearly the heart and soul of the recording, they surrounded themselves with plenty of top-notch talent, including Bernice Johnson Reagon, Guy Davis, Magpie and the duo of Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer. Award-winning actor Danny Glover even makes an appearance, reading excerpts from Frederick Douglass' writings during ‘Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning’.”
– Greg Haymes, Albany, NY, Times Union


“You might think that in this time of equal rights, songs like these aren't needed. But although this music, which commemorates the struggle for civil rights and the underground railroad that helped slaves escape to freedom, might not be timely, a lot of it is important to the history of America, as the second volume in this series shows. Kim and Reggie Harris, along with a number of guests, tackle music that's both familiar (‘Oh Mary, Don't You Weep,’ ‘Down by the Riverside’) and unusual (‘Done wit' Driver's Dribbin',’ ‘Old Tar River’). . . . Unsurprisingly, the overall sound is gospel, but stripped down and performed with real passion and often jubilation, since this is, after all, the music of freedom. You could consider this an important document of times and places, but it's more than that – it's also a real celebration of African-American culture.”
– Chris Nickson, All Music Guide


“Kim and Reggie Harris are natural teachers, using song to tell of freedom struggles through history. It is a lively lesson . . . ‘Oh Mary, Don't You Weep’ is a traditional spiritual/Gospel number that Bruce Springsteen included on his Seeger Session CD; here it gets a fine treatment from guest singer and Civil Rights activist Bernice Johnson Reagon. ‘Children Go Where I Send Thee’ is another spiritual that, as many songs sung by slaves did, holds coded messages for those headed to freedom along the Underground Railroad. Here what it holds is good and genuine singing by Harris and Harris and a continuing message of hope and belief in the power of freedom, a message for any time and generation. . . . You do not have to know anything about the history or even the meaning of these songs to get up and sing and dance along, though the Harrises present them with enough joy and energy to invite you to do that. A lesson offered in the best way.”
– Kerry Dexter, FolkWax