Lock him up and throw away the key! David Jameson Harris is guilty of being a really good dude and creative beyond his musical talents by finding an upbeat way to show support for our South Bend Venues Parks & Arts and celebrate The Bend during a downbeat time.
We invited David Jameson Harris to be our first guest blogger (expect many more of these!) to share his inspiration for his song "South Bend Town" and to provide some updates on its results so far. Thank you, David!
“South Bend Town” celebrates the culture of South Bend, and especially amid COVID-19, my hope was to promote the socially-distant activities that our public parks offer—for locals and tourists alike.
Part of my inspiration came from other music originating from the South Bend community, "South Bend, Indiana" by Benzo Da Realest, which went viral back in 2012. Grassroots efforts celebrating South Bend are everywhere: people flying the flag all over town, painting it on their homes and wearing South Bend branded clothing. If one thing is clear, it is that people are very proud to be from South Bend. My hope was that this song could be another piece of this community, a continuation of the support South Bend locals have shown each other. The opening whistle of “South Bend Town” is actually an homage to the intro of Benzo Da Realest’s song.
The song is played in a traditional country style that feels reminiscent of the 1950's, blending the styles of the Bakersfield Sound with the early Rockabilly of Johnny Cash and Elvis.The song lyrics tie in a lot of what makes South Bend unique. What’s most fun for me is Jake Cinninger’s twangy solo, which teases a small piece of a melody that everybody in the South Bend community would recognize. The lyrics, in a way, serve as a visitors guide to South Bend, highlighting visits to Notre Dame, Potawatomi Zoo, Studebaker Museum and some of our most notable parks.
It’s been about 2 months, and the song has already been played around 20,000 times. Most definitely, there is significant South Bend representation among these listeners, but my favorite part is that people from about 50 different countries have played the song. With South Bend rising in political headlines, my hope is that its culture and stories can come to life too.
I’m truly thankful for all of the support that the South Bend community so generously gave to this project. At the onset, people were so eager to help that it inspired me to think a lot bigger. I’m especially grateful to Jake Cinninger of Umphrey’s McGee, who plays a fantastic guitar solo in the song that gives it a more energetic spirit. I’m also very thankful for the support of Aaron Perri and the whole of SBVPA, Karen White of the Common Council, Ali Oesch of Ali on the Boulevard, the South Bend Symphony, Potawatomi Zoo, Wendy Martin. G&A Music, Paul Erdman, Trey Gray, and the many others without whom I could not have done this.
South Bend Town
"South Bend Town" Performed Live at De Nolf's Barbershop x South Bend Locals ("South Bend Town" at 2min:59sec)
"South Bend Town" Shirt available at Ali on the Boulevard
Portion of proceeds donated to SBVPA