Print, Reviews January 6, 2020

Album Review: Meat And Potatoes – After Math

by Nate Wilde

Brandon Harris has lived the first few chapters of a quintessential Fort Collins musician success story. He started out playing a $15 guitar nicknamed “Trash-tar,” without a car or mode of independent transportation until a bike was gifted to him by a friend, and now makes his living playing music. His solo musical pseudonym is called Meat and Potatoes, although it more accurately translates to his bread and butter.

Harris was surrounded by music growing up. His father was a guitarist; his mother a singer. One day, his mother suggested that her pastor bring her son on as the church bassist. Despite having never touched the instrument, he went for it, making a pivotal step in his musical journey.

The new Meat and Potatoes record titled After Math (on which he plays many of the instruments) is a poetic account of his life leading up to this point. A track off his previous record said “you left me with just a mattress on the floor,” the catalyst for what was to  come.

After Math sets out with the chill blues-funk piece “Dreaming,” a slide guitar cruiser that reminisces about better times with an ex-lover, highlighted with a remarkable saxophone solo, courtesy of Downtown Michael Brown. The sonic memoir continues with the autobiographical “Mathews Street” and “Strange Love,” taking us on a musical tour of all of the emotions and heartaches the singer/songwriter was experiencing while he penned the compositions.

The record wraps up with heavy emotions on “The Big C,” written for a friend of Harris’ whose father was battling cancer. The theme hits especially hard for Harris, as he himself had battled cancer as a youth, and faced the possibility of losing his legs as a result.Meat and Potatoes’ After Math is an intimate window into a heavily jazz influenced master songwriter’s young life, told by the only person who could accurately lay it out: A multi-instrumental, cancer surviving, bicycle-only traveler making it all work with only his best ally: music.

Meat and Potatoes performs constantly in Colorado this month – at Patrick’s Irish Pub in Greeley January 8, for example, but hit up for a complete list of shows.