Rod Harris Jr., “I Can’t Tell You Why” from Exits and Options EP (2018): One Track Mind

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Atlanta-based guitarist Rod Harris Jr. has released a worthy follow up to The Counsel of Elders, his debut album. Exit & Options is a fascinating look behind Harris’ inspirational curtain. Arranged and produced by Harris and expertly recorded and mixed by Marlon Patton, the EP includes just one original – the memorizing “El Presidente.” However, the four remaining songs are of substantial musical heft, and are buoyed by Rod Harris’ arranging and playing.

Given the range of composers, including Herbie Hancock and Kanye West, it is interesting that the song “I Can’t Tell You Why” – originally by the Eagles – fits in. The song was conceived by bassist Timothy B. Schmidt in a country vein, but after significant lyrical and arranging contributions by Don Henley and the late Glenn Frey, it became a R&B-based rock hit for the band.

Rod Harris does the song justice, as his hollow-body Gibson locks in tight with Louis Heriveaux’s Fender Rhodes piano in the opening bars of the song. The band is dense and swirling, and the sonic tension builds. Harris’ presses the song’s main theme with a tone that is remarkably sweet and smoky. His guitar solo turns up the heat to a fine musical boil, and seems all too short as Heriveaux returns for his own turn on acoustic piano.

Fine stuff, indeed, as Rod Harris Jr. creates something new and fresh out of something familiar.
Here’s hoping a full album is in the works.


Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Preston Frazier
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