Roadrunner Records - Slipknot's hard-hitting, aggressive metal anthems are getting…
- Posted on Oct 14th 2010 12:30PM by Pat Pemberton
'The Secret Sun,' Jesse Harris
During a cross-country trip from New York to California, Jesse Harris stopped in Texas and unintentionally accelerated his career.
While that layover would eventually lead to a Grammy and a No. 1 record, his songwriting would make Norah Jones -- not Jesse Harris -- a household name. Still, as this tune shows, the more obscure Harris hasn't settled on writing hits for other performers.
Originally recorded in 2003 with his band the Ferdinandos, Harris rerecorded 'The Secret Sun' in August, and it first aired in this Corona ad the following month. In the ad, Harris begins to sing, "Meet me by the sea again" as we see couples in front of breathtaking locations, including the coast at Big Sur in California, and the New York City skyline. The ad ends in typical Corona commercial fashion with a couple lounging on the beach, cold brews in hand.
A warm, laid-back tune that recalls fellow New Yorker Paul Simon, it would easily have worked on Jones' 'Come Away With Me' album. But that had already been recorded in 2002, and Harris -- who wrote five of the songs from that album -- was determined to maintain his own recording and performing career.
That's what he was doing when he embarked on that trip to California with a friend. The two stopped to see other friends perform at a jazz clinic at the University of North Texas. Jones, a freshman, was assigned by the school to pick up the band in her 1971 Cadillac DeVille. That night, the musicians played together on a golf course fairway, and Harris and Jones vowed to stay in touch. Eventually, Jones moved to New York in 2000 and began recording songs Harris had written.
While Jones became a star, Harris benefited as well, as his songs were recorded by artists including Willie Nelson, the Black Keys, Madeleine Peyroux, Emmylou Harris, M. Ward and Feist. Yet, despite the success, he remained grounded. The night after picking up his Grammy, the Cornell University grad played a tip-jar gig in New York. And though he could simply write for other artists and collect royalties, as he told the Berkshire (Mass.) Eagle newspaper in 2004, he still wants to perform his own songs.
"It is the only way to have artistic control," he said.