Dreaming Desperado

Our very own Desperado Diva, Olivia Harms, just released her first single from her new album and we are excited to share it with you! The single titled “Hey There Cowboy”, blurs the lines between country and western music, including a hint of Bakersfield to make any honky-tonk proud.

Olivia, an Oregon native has been working part time at Desperado for the past 3 years. She moved to central Oregon shortly after graduating from Oregon State University with her bachelor’s degree in agriculture business. After college she decided to pursue her true passion of music. Working here at Desperado allowed her to travel back and forth to Nashville and offered a flexible schedule for her to play music around the country.

After commuting back and forth to Nashville for the past 3 years, Olivia decided it was time to record. After all the writing Olivia had done during that time, she had plenty of songs to choose from. She narrowed it down to the 10 songs she connected to most, she cut the demos and set a date for the master recording. Olivia had planned to spend 10 days in March tracking instruments and recording the master vocals. Unfortunately, a little thing called Covid-19 got in her way.

Olivia thought it was just a small setback at the time. Not realizing how much covid would affect her recording process. After rescheduling twice and no sign of change in the world, Olivia decided to go back to Nashville in May and record. “It was an interesting experience traveling during covid. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t want to put anyone in danger, but life also had to go on. All I knew was covid wasn’t getting any better, who knew how long it would last, and I didn’t have the patience or will power to sit around and wait till it was over to share my new music.”

Olivia recorded all 10 songs while she was in Nashville in May. “Such an exciting feeling to hear a song that you wrote, come to life with all the right instruments” she says. After returning home from a successful trip Olivia made a plan for her release. With less live concerts and places to play, she decided to release her music one song at a time throughout the Fall.

‘Hey there Cowboy’ was her first release from the project on September 25th. The song debuted with over 20k views on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. In an interview with Y-102 Gorge Country Olivia jokes that the song was written on accident. She said she was driving home from a long day of writing session on a trip to Nashville in January and had been thinking about all of the extra confident cowboys that she had met at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas just a few weeks prior in December. As she was driving, she thought, “what would I say if I were trying to introduce myself to a handsome stranger. What kind of things would we talk about?” Then before she knew it, she had a voice memo with a rough draft of Hey There Cowboy, and she was 20 miles past her exit. It may have cost her a little time to get turned around, but she ended up with a great song.

Music has always been Olivia passion, she grew up playing and performing with her mom, Joni harms, who will be inducted into the western music hall of fame this year. Olivia says “music is a way for us to connect with strangers, sometimes it gives us confidence, other times it helps us heal. In my experience music has always been there for me, and I hope that my listeners will feel that I will always be there for them. I play music to share my stories, make people laugh, cry, happy, and sad. The idea that not just someone, but hundreds of people, can relate to a little song I wrote driving down the freeway blows my mind. I’m forever grateful for anyone that lends an ear and takes a chance on listening to my music.”

You can listen to Olivia’s new release using the link or find it on any streaming platform. Be sure to catch her local performances by checking www.oliviaharms.com and mark your calendars for her second release “Gypsy” in November 5th.

Follow this link to YouTube to hear ‘Hey There Cowboy’ now and please listen, like, and share!

by Rebecca Meade

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