Highlighted by frontman Kevin Harvey’s soulful, bluesy vocals, Durham County Poets is a folk roots band with seasoned musicians who have an easy rapport on stage and an eclectic, laid-back style. Though their name evokes the American south, the band actually hails from Quebec, Canada. The band members write music both on their own and collaboratively, incorporating a variety of genres, including blue, gospel, country, jazz, rock and soul. Despite being Canadian, the band definitely has an Americana feel and counts among its influences The Band, James Taylor, Neil Young, Muddy Waters and Dire Straits. Formed in 2011, Durham County Poets has been popular at Canadian music festivals for years and has been extending its reach into the American market since its third album release, Grimshaw Road, in 2017. Harmonica, sax, trombone and distorted guitars all find their way into the band’s sound, and the song lyrics display an ease with language that is in keeping with the band’s name.
Durham County Poets is working on its fourth studio album, a half-and-half mix of covers and original material. They have played the Rochester International Jazz Festival and Ottawa Blues Fest among many others. Ottawa’s folk music society Spirit of Rasputin’s declares, “The Poets will get you dancing in the hallways, laughing and feeling those blues.”