The Harvest Kings are a Columbus Ohio band consisting of veteran musicians Chris Bair (guitar), Carolyn O'Leary (drums), Kerry Stewart (bass), Jon Schaer (guitar), and singer/songwriter John Joseph. O’Leary and Bair hail from legendary Columbus Ohio bands and national recording artists Scrawl and Silo the Huskie. Joseph entered the Central Ohio Music Scene with the late 90s alt-country blues rock band Pilot Dogs. While Pilot Dogs did not find national success, locally they established a solid following and their song “Rip It Up” was featured on a number of Columbus radio stations. Stewart and Schaer have been in a number of successful local and regional bands including The Second State Butchers, The Dirty Flags, Cur Dogs, Eric Stein Band, and Woosley Band.
Harvest Kings released their debut full-length CD, “Cardboard Crowns,” on Singing Moon Records in October 2010. The CD quickly found itself on many national alt-country and Americana radio shows and podcasts, eventually landing on Americana Rock Mix's "Top 23 albums of 2010." The songs and the band do not shy away from their Midwestern roots or obvious comparisons to the Columbus "sound" of big guitar riffs, a driving rhythm section and catchy pop melodies. The band and CD fit comfortably next to the likes of Son Volt, The Drams, Tom Petty, The Jayhawks, John Mellencamp, The Replacements, and The Dexateens. Roots Rock, Pop Rock, Americana, Southern Rock, Alt-Country, and Midwestern Indie; however you want to label them, in the end it's about the songs, and good songs are good songs.
Currently the Harvest Kings are working on the follow-up to their debut CD, tentatively titled “Invisible Mud.”
"Ohio roots run deep for Harvest Kings. . . . frontman John Joseph, whose raspy vocals recall the weathered pipes of Ryan Adams or Paul Westerberg."
- Kevin Joy, Columbus Dispatch
"With such a flood of great music in 2010, it became a real feat for anyone to rise above the tide. But the Harvest Kings' newest effort became the (not so) little album that could. And did."
-Von, "Americana Rock Mix"
"Alternative meets mainstream rock, Harvest Kings would easily appeal to both the younger and older generations.
The CD is groovy, energetic, driving and introspective. Slightly leaning also to the non-sappy, modern country sound, Harvest Kings is lively.
Lyrically thoughtful, the songwriting paints pictures, and weaves common themes into poetic paradoxes. Looking back on life, reflectively, "Cardboard Crowns" is your soundtrack, while giving a glimpse into a hopeful future.
Harvest Kings: Good old rock and roll, with lyrics you will relate to."
- Steve Dustcircle. "Columbus Monthly Review"
"Despite the overt twang aesthetic, there's a '90s radio rock undercurrent pulsing through Harvest Kings' music.
Big finish "Last Breath" . . . reminds me of Silverchair's "Tomorrow," and it eventually rises into some Slash-style soloing without ever losing its groove."
-Chris DeVille, "Columbus Alive"