5GB Interview: David Ryan Harris playing with Marc Broussard and Ben Deignan at Winter Wonder Jam in Atlantic Station, Saturday Dec. 8th

David Ryan Harris is no stranger to the Atlanta music scene. He grew up here and still cherishes a particular venue. Some may know him best for fronting the Atlanta based rock band Follow For Now in the late 80’s. Though the band had a short life, it was a launching pad for David’s career. He continues to play with and/or produce with artists such as Dave Matthews, Cassandra Wilson, Derek Trucks, Santana, Marc Broussard, Guy Sebastian and John Mayer. His soulful voice will certainly capture your attention.

David Ryan Harris joined us for our 5GB Interview before his show with Marc Broussard, Saturday, December 1st at Atlantic Station.

What’s the first gig you ever attended?

The first gig I ever attended was Gino Vannelli at the OMNI on the Brother to Brother Tour. It was 1980 or so and I went with my Mom. I’m so grateful that I grew up listening to that record because of her. The Brother to Brother record is ridiculously musical. People think Gino just did the 80’s love song “I Just Wanna Stop” and that he was this sappy guy, but the band he had on this record and tour just blew doors. He came out playing a white baby grand or something with dry ice and smoke everywhere. Women went nuts. I thought to myself……”I don’t know what’s going on, but I wanna do THAT!”

What is the best gig that you ever played/performed?

The best gig I ever played is whatever the next gig is. It is an ever changing and (hopefully) improving prospect. I’m always taking little notes from the last show to make the next one better. So, the best show is always the one coming up next (which in this case would be The Winter Wonder Jam)

What is the best gig you have ever seen?

The best gig I’ve ever seen would be a toss up between Bad Brains on “I Against I” tour at the Metroplex OR Vanity 6, The Time and Prince & The Revolution at the Fox.

Bad Brains blew me away because I never imagined such precision and ferocity from one band. Breakneck hardcore one second. Deep dub the next second. Literally. This was coming from 4 black guys (?) AND it was my first time going to the Metroplex (RIP). Mindblowing.

The Vanity 6, The Time and Prince concert was amazing showmanship from two bands at their peak. Vanity 6:(Three hot women in bustiers singing about being “Nasty Girls”? okay, sure. …sign me up)
The Time backed Vanity 6 behind a curtain, so that by the time The Time did their set, they had had an hour to warm up and they were on FIRE. Morris Day was the most amazing balance of cool and comical. Jesse Johnson shredded. Dance moves for days all around. Prince? What can I say that hasn’t already been said? The Revolution was a combination of everything that had/has come before.

Gig you would most like to play?

I would love to play the Fox Theatre (full of course) solo acoustic. That’d be a dream gig.

What would be the lineup for your dream gig?

But……if I had to do it with a band I’d have Al Jackson Jr on drums, Paul McCartney on bass, Stevie Wonder on clav, Billy Preston on organ, Aretha Franklin on piano, and Wendy Melvoin on guitar.


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