News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Local musician releases debut album

John Harvey, a Central Oregon local, is releasing his debut EP in May. An EP is a medium-length album, usually four to six songs long.

Harvey has lived in Central Oregon for 10 years, a few miles outside of Sisters. Harvey has always been involved in music. He works a full-time job as the national program manager for Regence BlueCross BlueShield.

Harvey is releasing his first-ever EP album after releasing a few singles over the past months. Harvey has been playing in a number of local groups and song circles over the years in Central Oregon. A few years ago, he decided to break off on his own and begin writing and recording his own music.

“I started writing my own melodies, lyrics, and music and took a lot more time for self around six years ago,” said Harvey.

He began learning the software and technology to record and produce his own music after writing it.

“I wanted to be the artist and be able to produce my own EP. Doing the whole process made me more mature and a deeper artist,” he said. “I really got into the production aspect of it and enjoyed it more than I thought and put in a lot of time to focus and learn and write and record and put out the music.”

Before the pandemic, Harvey was working with KPOV High Desert Radio as an audio engineer for their show, Center Stage. Harvey worked on mixing and recording the guest artists that would come on the show. He was only able to work on that project for a few months before the pandemic put that work on hold. The last person he mixed music with was Sisters Folk Festival alum, and now Sisters local musician and poet, Beth Wood.

“Before the pandemic hit in March, I was supposed to do a show with Dennis McGregor and his band,” said Harvey. “I was excited to be able to mix a whole band, but that had to be canceled in March.”

Harvey hopes to be able to do more of that work in the future.

In 2016, Harvey went to the Sisters Folk Festival’s Americana Song Academy at Camp Caldera on Blue Lake, and really homed in on his musical self-discovery.

“Attending it honestly scared the heck out of me, but I am so glad I went,” he said.

Harvey didn’t quite know what he was getting himself into, attending the song academy with a number of musicians and fellow singer-songwriters. He felt as if he was a young songwriter at the time and needed the experience that the song academy could offer him. During his time there, he had a one-on-one class with Chuck Prophet, and he helped him to remember to focus on the songs.

“I was a songwriter that wanted to make something out of my songs, and he helped remind me to just focus on the song and what it means. Money is something else and might come, but its about the song itself and its own development,” he said.

The experience helped Harvey to relax into writing and allowed him the time to put into writing.

“It was a really good experience and adjusted my attitude about what it meant to be a creator and songwriting, it’s about what you put out there,” he said.

Harvey’s first EP is titled “Second Chances.” The inspiration for his songs comes from life experience and inspiration, but he also says, “a lot of it comes from craft, and is like buffing out a rough rock or work.

“The title track song, ‘Second Chances,’ is a song about a situation where you’ve done wrong and you are trying to start over,” he said.

During the creation of the EP, Harvey worked on learning how to record, produce, mix and cut together a full five-song EP of a few of his original works. He watched YouTube videos, learned software for recording and mixing, and set up a home studio to produce the EP.

“It feels like kind of a feat to know that I did this myself, and now that I know the process, my desire is to produce more music,” he said

Harvey will be releasing the EP on online-streaming music services. He plans to continue writing and recording and producing and building an audience over the summer and release another EP in the fall. “Second Chances” will be available on all music-streaming platforms on May 7. More information on John Harvey and his music can be found at


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