Way back in 2002, Broken Bow Records signed an act named J. Michael Harter. He released an album with just one single, the (seriously underrated) #45 “Hard Call to Make.” Now known as just Michael, he has joined forces with sister Leslie and brother Scott to form The Harters.
The song tells a story that has been heard more than once before: girl meets boy, boy’s dad doesn’t want boy to marry girl, boy runs off with girl anyway. What saves this from becoming a four-minute cliché is the use of clever turns of phrase such as “daddies just don’t sleep through slowly creaking doors.” A catchy, acoustic ear-worm of a melody straight out of the Little Big Town playbook doesn’t hurt, either.
Leslie keeps lead vocals throughout most of the song, but Scott and Michael get a few judiciously-placed lines to help make the song feel like a true group effort. At times, though, the balance is just a little bit off; some parts sound more like the brothers did their vocals together and Leslie’s were tracked separately, making the bridge in particular a bit awkward.
The Harters are in the same position that Zac Brown Band was a few years ago: a band with a friendly, relaxed, acoustic sound, signed to an independent label and backed by big-time producer Keith Stegall. And look at where ZBB is now. At the very least, The Harters seem like the kind of act that will suddenly get scooped up by a major label and pushed into the upper tier of the charts. There’s just no way that radio is going to miss out on this song.