Better Days

The last time EW checked in with the rollicking indie-grass rockers The Harmed Brothers was in the summer of 2010; hot off Cottage Grove’s Jug-R-Not festival, the band was about to kick-off a cross-country tour. Ray Vietti (guitar, vocals) and Alex Salcido (banjo, vocals, harmonica, piano) are still the faces of the band, but a lot has changed in the past three years. In addition to releasing two full-length albums, All the Lies You Wanna Hear and Come Morning, as well as an EP last winter, the grassy crooners have been touring non-stop, zig-zagging across ’Merica and even squeezing in their first European tour.

“We’re from a white van with Oregon plates,” Vietti jokes, when asked if the band is still Cottage Grove-based. He’s referring not only to their nomadic tour schedule but also the scattered geography of the band’s members, dropping place names from Oregon and California to North Carolina and Missouri. They even have an upright bass player for each coast: Zach Kilmer plays the East and Alec “Gerard” La Roche owns the West. In addition to La Roche, Ben Kilmer will join the band on drums for the West Coast leg.

In spite of the band’s steady state of flux, Vietti and Salcido still write all the songs, and they just finished another collection for their upcoming album Better Days, which they recorded this spring at Native Sound Studios in Missouri (where Vietti was born). “As songwriters, Alex and I both have grown quite a bit since our first record,” Vietti says. “We feel like it’s our best work to date.” The album is set to be released this fall — look for a CD release party near you.

The Harmed Brothers play with Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank 8 pm Saturday, July 13, at Axe & Fiddle; $5. See them again July 31 when they pair up with Shakey Graves at Sam Bond’s.

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