NICK HARPER - SEED:
Total Guitar Issue 11, October 1995
How often do you find talent like this? Nick Harper kicks off Seed with an instrumental acoustic guitar piece, Glittering Eye, spellbinding us with his innate musicality and effortless virtuosity, and follows it immediately with the utterly moving The Kilty Stone, displaying his beautiful voice to full effect, and still backed with that astounding acoustic finesse. The staggering runs that fall from his guitar like laughter and tears, the unreal turning peg bends, are all evidence that not since the likes of Gordon Giltrap has a man been more sensitively in control of his instrument. If there's any justice in this cosmos, Nick Harper will be a huge star. His farther must be extremely proud. TT
Birmingham - What's On - November 1995
Even if you didn't know he was Roy's son, listen to Seed (Sangraal) and you'd have sussed the family voice genes by the time the third track, Radio Silence, kicks in, not to mention the trademark Harper acoustic guitar style evident on the opening Glittering Eye and various occasions throughout. There's that same intoxicating mix of the metaphysical, political and spiritual to songs like Thanks for the Miracle, Peace Love and Happiness, and Crazy Boy too, not to mention the sardonic Harper wit in the ludicrous pc jargon of Janet and John. But just as he's no newcomer (last years equally fine debut Light at the end of the Kennel was preceded with session work, with Kate Bush, Gilmour, Jimmy Page and, inevitably his dad) so he's no clone either, his music and playing is as distinctively individual as Jeff Buckley's is to Tim. If there's any justice, its a comparison that should extend beyond parental connection.
Leicester Mercury October, 1995
Having a musical great as a father is no guarantee of talent especially in pop: take Julian Lennon and Brian Wilson's daughter. But in the singer/songwriter genre there are two new big splashes. First Jeff, son of Tim Buckley, and now Nick Harper. (Charlotte, Thursday)
Musically speaking, you can tell Nick is Roy Harper's son. His new (second) CD Seed is better than anything his father's done since his '70s heyday. He shows of an octave shifting voice with melodic dips and trills that are definitely a chip of the old block. From the sumptuous guitar (almost Spanish) crash runs and harmonics leading into a beautiful ballad, The Kilty Stone, this is so obviously class stuff.
Moods, sometimes dreamy/spacey through to gritty anger, are redolent of 'dad' as is the skill with chord work, notably the descant into the key changes in Radio Silence. Big Jim & the Twins is tongue-in-cheek blues a la Ry Cooder, Three Magpies sounds almost Lennon. Though Thanks For the Miracle is Roy's kind of sneering 'protest', the anti-PC Janet And John (with a rhythm like Mrs Robinson) is relatively subtle. The midland eastern air to pan or sub-religious Building Our Own Temple contrasts somewhat with dad's fatwa inviting Black Cloud Of Islam!
Just the finger picking guitar pattern on a ballad is exciting with this guy.
Rock & Reel - 1995
Seeing who his father is, it is of little surprise that here is an album in a very similar style. Like Roy, Nick is a very accomplished guitarist and for the most part is happy to just accompany himself with an acoustic. The songs are of the very highest order and should be required listening to any young singer-songwriter. The words form images in the mind while the ear marvels at the intricacy of the notes being played. He is joined on some numbers by drums, bass and keys, but in the case of the very political 'Thanks for the Miracle' they serve only to bring out the starkness of the wasteland Nick sees before him. An album of many styles, 'Miracle' is in total contrast to 'Big Jim and the Twins' which is a wonderful slow country-style blues with some great slide acoustic. The use of wailing harmonica provides just the right amount of atmosphere.
'Crazy Boy' starts off with the theme from 'Close Encounters' and using restrained keys with a gently riffed acoustic summons up images of Pink Floyd ('Wish you were Here' as opposed to 'Have a Cigar'). This is a superb album in the Harper tradition. Let's hope that his career is as long and prolific as his father's.