They are billed as “Heather and The Monkey King” (3 members of the Harper family join together to play for us and wow us.) Heather Harper is the beautiful lady who sings with a “smooth like butter”voice. She has moves that mesmerize you into a trance as she performs.
They have many original songs but they throw in some old-time favorites like “All of Me” and “Stormy Weather”…and it takes you back to a more innocent time of life. Steve Harper is Heather’s husband and he is “The Monkey…King”…Ben (her brother-in-law), plays bass.
Today I want to speak about the Harper family. The Harpers are so many things, but most of all they are strong people who love each other and they spread kindness wherever they go. Simply put, they are genuine people, they are content and when you are in their presence you just feel better.
The huge bonus of knowing them is their fabulous talent in music. Their father is Dr. Andrew Henry Harper and their mother, Mary Lena (is bubbly, friendly and so full of life). Dr. Andrew Harper is a famous conductor, and musician. He passed his love for music and his talent to his four children…all have that extreme DNA coursing through their veins. Andy (the older lives in LA, works in sound engineering for a big network there, he also plays violin.
Mary Helen Harper plays cello. She is a world renowned cellist and an amazing lady. She lives in LA and in Spain. I spoke to her last night for a while and I immediately felt like I had known her for years. Ben Harper teaches music here (he taught my three grandchildren). He plays in The Mobile Symphony, in local musicals, in a couple of bands. He plays many instruments. This time Ben played electric bass and stand-up bass and he did back up vocals. The youngest of the siblings is Stephen Harper. Steve is a super talent…I don’t know of a word to describe him fairly. Last night he played electric guitar the best I have ever seen a guitar played. But previously at The Listening Room he played guitar, dobro, ukulele, cello, mandolin and banjo, in addition to singing.
He also writes and illustrates comic books by hand…no computer…he is a master artist and storyteller who stands shoulders above most.
When these people get together it is not just a BAND…it is a force to be reckoned with…mostly you just sit there in awe with your mouth hanging open.
Ben has a daughter named Ruth Harper. She is a teenager and she is also blessed with the music in her soul. She has already performed at Carnegie Hall. She will be performing in her own show November 26 at The Peoples Room, 78 St Francis St (downtown) Mobile. Show starts at 8:00ish. (mark that on your calendar it is two days before Thanksgiving).
For me it should say in the dictionary….Harper= Example of people who know how to live and love …while also being extreme musical talents.
My two favorite songs from last night were “56 miles out of New Orleans” and “Almost Like Being in Love”….but every single song was a gift.
I hope the next time you see a show featuring “Heather and The Monkey King” or “Professor Hill’s Think System” you will go and check them out. Or if you see any other grouping of musicians that includes a HARPER…go see what its all about.
I just love them all and I know you will too.
I want to thank The Peoples Room of Mobile for being just that.
Thank you Heather and The Monkey King (Steve)
Thank you Ben Harper
Thank you Jim Pennington for booking these wonderful talented people
Thank you to the other Harper family members who made me feel like I was family.
Music Mom (Picture below is Ruth Harper)...check her show 11-26-19 TPR