Paul r. Harding/Michael Bisio/Juma Sultan

They Tried to Kill Me Yesterday

Poets say things that need to be said, and need to be heard. Yes, heard, because there’s music in poets’ voices, timbre and inflection and phrasing that you can’t get from reading their words on a page. Matthew Shipp writes in his liner notes, “Paul r. Harding is a pure expression of a linguistic analog to jazz. He has deep, deep knowledge of the music—of a lot of musics, for that matter—and he has worked long and hard to make words swing and sing in a pure vocal inflection.”                Frequently lyrical, sometimes hard-hitting, nostalgic for jazz and R&B, proud of African-American heroes, Paul r. Harding has been around, has seen and heard things he reflects on and refracts to us with vivid words. Based in upstate New York, he’s joined by bassist Michael Bisio (Matthew Shipp Trio) and, on half the tracks, by percussionist Juma Sultan (yes, he played with Jimi Hendrix). In Bisio’s opinion, “If people listen to Paul it would solve a lot of the world’s problems.”

Credits: Paul r. Harding: poetry, small percussion; Michael Bisio: bass; Juma Sultan: percussion on tracks 3, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13

Paul r. Harding poems/Michael Bisio music, AMB Music ASCAP

Recorded July 6 & August 10, 2022 at Lone Pine Road Studio in Kingston, NY

Engineer: Eli Winograd

Track Listing:

1. Forgive, Forgive, Forgive

2. Accordion Dream

3. New World Gypsy Dawn

4. They Tried to Kill Me Yesterday

5. On a Train Through Oregon

6. Hair Eyes Lips

7. Hard to Watch

8. If She Cried

9. Heart Asks For / Prison Break

10. Unheard Lady

11. Let’s Get Use To

12. Quietly

13. Overseas

For downloads, please order on Bandcamp: 

They Tried to Kill Me Yesterday | Paul r. Harding (

Compact Disk CD in Wallet-Lite
  • Product Code: ESP5083
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  • CD $12.98

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