In 2017, indomitable honky-tonker J.P Harris teamed up with rising female country stars like Nikki Lane and Kelsey Waldon for an EP of collaborations titled Why Don’t We Duet in the Road. Harris revisits the concept again for a second volume — Why Don’t We Duet in the Road (Again) — due September 13th.
This time, the Alabama native joins Erin Rae, Miss Tess, Malin Pettersen, and Elizabeth Cook to put their spin on songs by Tom Paxton, Gordon Lightfoot, Tennessee Ernie Ford and Kay Starr, and Del Reeves and Billie Jo Spears. Cook guests on the Reeves/Spears duet “On the Rebound,” originally released in 1976.
“This project is a real joy for me in a lot of ways, but especially when I get to go for deep cuts that may be a little lesser-known,” Harris says. “Elizabeth and I tossed a few more common tunes around before deciding it would be a ton of fun to go after this Del Reeves and Billie Jo Spears track from the United Records era of Del’s career. Elizabeth is such a pillar in so many overlapping circles of country music, rock, folk…it’s a real honor to leave a little memento of our friendship in country music history, and a ton of fun to work with such a salty-and-sweet character such as her. Everybody loves a tune about turning heartbreak into heartthrob.”
Harris, who bounced from place to place until setting up shop in Nashville in 2011, is planning a collectible double 7″ release of the EP as well as digital and streaming options. The singer-guitarist will play the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion on September 20th and 21st in Bristol, Tennessee, and Pilgrimage Festival in Franklin, Tennessee, on September 22nd, before hitting the road for a string of Texas dates later this month.