In the old days, Reggie Harris and his wife Kim were the “musical relief” between comedy acts like Jay Leno and Michael Keaton at Grandma Minnie’s in Old City. “We learned timing, how to do a tight 20-minute set — and that we are not comedians,” he quips. But levity is surely what’s kept this couple making music together for 36 years. He grew up at 17th and Erie. Kim grew up in Mount Airy. Both were products of Philly schools where elementary music classes taught a surprising amount of Pete Seeger and Peter, Paul and Mary. That repertoire fit open stages and small rooms like the Khyber and O’Hara’s.
On to college tours, where “We were two eclectic black kids out there. We learned early on that people’s consciousness in places like Wisconsin and Wyoming is not hinged on PBS. The fact that I was holding an acoustic guitar would flip people out. We couldn’t help notice the racism and the sexism,” Reggie recalls. The Philadelphia Folksong Society’s Odyssey Program had the couple research and develop their first half-hour program of history through song, originally designed for local classrooms. Now their songs make room for social consciousness and a sense of gratitude as well. The title song from their just-released CD for Appleseed records, “Resurrection Day,” narrates Reggie’s liver transplant, which just celebrated its fourth anniversary. “I never thought I’d rise again. I got a new life,” he says.
Fri., Nov. 2, 8 p.m., $20-$25, PSALM Salon, 5841 Overbrook Ave., 215-477-7578, psalmsalon.com.