- Bryon Harris
Harrison County - 'Men in the House'
Review by Matt Wong & Staff
The W.A M. Awards celebrate the year’s most outstanding independent artists from around the world in multiple genres and categories. "Best Song" and "Best Album" nominations were based on Artistry, Musicianship, Originality, Professionalism, Diversity, and Excellence. W.A.M. stands for "We Are the Music Makers.' Harrison Country's song, "Men in the House", was the 2020 W.A.M. Award Winner for Best Song in the Country music category.
“Men in the House” begins with a relaxed guitar run, followed by the vocals, presented with an excellent rubato, for the first verse. Against only downbeat guitar chords, Amy Harrison’s power lead vocals shine through, along with complementing background vocals. Amy has the confidence that this song requires and her sassy performance makes this song exciting to listen to.
A bluesy guitar lick wraps up the last phrase of the verse while the groove, played by the full band, is introduced in for the second verse. As the song makes its way through the form, listeners are presented with a tight shuffle groove, held down by the bass, and drums, while a catchy doubled guitar riff glues it all together. The arrangement effectively expands and contracts to give the chorus plenty of juice, and help the song develop in the verses.
The lyrics in “Men in the House” are inspired by a book that songwriter Don Harrison read, Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys by Leonard Sax. With lyrics such as “The joint was filled with thirty year old lost boys livin’ with their mamas,” the song reflects on the state of young American manhood as discussed in Sax’s book. Told from a woman’s perspective, the question “Ain’t there a man in the house” is posed at the top of every chorus to further highlight the theme and message behind the song. This may sound like serious stuff, but "Men in the House" keeps it light and fun.
“Men in the House” by Harrison Country is a well written song with an outstanding performance full of energy and attitude. In addition to the memorable melody and well crafted lyrics, the song’s arrangement takes the song’s story, and effectively conveys it to the listener. Along with Amy Harrison on lead vocals, the song features the talents of Jennie Harrison Young, and Lexie White on background vocals, Bryan Ewald on guitars and keyboard, Josh Chapman on bass, and Brandon Bartlett on drums.
About Harrison Country
Harrison Country (Don, Karen & Amy Harrison, Jennie Harrison Young and Lexi White) is an Americana music group from Annapolis, MD. They are backed by musicians Bryan and Aidan Ewald, Josh Chapman, Larry Byrne, Brad Kimes and Brandon Bartlett. Founder Don Harrison has dubbed their music “21st Century Folk Music.” It doesn’t sound like the folk revival music of the ‘60’s – it’s folk music in a deeper sense. The people who created John Henry and Froggy Went a Courtin’ and Scarborough Fair weren’t trying to create “folk music.” There were telling stories about their lives and the world in which they lived, using language that ordinary people could understand, with the instruments and music traditions available to them at the time. Harrison Country does the same.