Out singer-songwriter Kerry Hallet, aka Heart Harbor, is throwing a fundraiser to help cover the cost of creating her first studio album.
The fundraiser/mini concert will take place at noon May 17 at Cavanaugh’s River Deck, 417 N. Columbus Blvd. Sam Wegman of Sam’s Philly Mixer will host the festivities.
A $15 donation includes performances by Erin McKeown, Ali Wadsworth, Louie Louie and Heart Harbor. Mistress of ceremonies Villienne Valore will also provide entertainment throughout the afternoon, and Miss Millie will coordinate a silent auction.
Hallet, 30, has been singing and playing instruments since grade school. The Virginia native started off playing cello, but after receiving an acoustic guitar one Christmas when she was 14, she taught herself how to strum a chord.
From that moment on, Hallet began to write, play and record her own music.
She studied art history at Temple University and started playing gigs as a solo singer-songwriter regularly in Philly in 2007. But the vibrant music scene in Portland lured her across the country for the next four-and-a-half years.
There, she furthered her music career, continuing as a solo artist, but also working in a few band projects and even an all-dyke pop-cover band. That is also where she met internationally known musician, writer and producer McKeown.
“I had seen her perform several times in Philly, then one night two years ago I saw her in Portland,” Hallet said. “I approached her after the show and started chatting. I didn’t realize at the time she was a producer.”
Hallet kept in touch with McKeown and the two started working together, mostly via Skype, once Hallet moved back to Philly.
Hallet currently works as a server to afford her musical passion but she may not be waiting tables for much longer. Already at 75 percent of her fundraising goal, Hallet hopes her debut album will kickstart her full-time musical career.
“I see myself taking the same approach that Erin does,” Hallet said. “Playing, going on tour, but also helping people with projects, giving lessons, producing for other people. I like that multi-faceted approach. Maybe because I have been multi-tasking in the service industry for a while, but that type of career is really appealing to me.”
Hallet said the new album has already been written and demo’ed, but she plans to go back and remaster everything for a polished final product after the fundraiser. The currently untitled full-length LP will sound characteristically Hallet.
“I like a layered, fuller sound that has some fusion elements, some looped-in electronics,” Hallet said. “It’s acoustic-pop-y, with a little folk and electronic added in.”
Under the stage name Heart Harbor, Hallet said she is trying to move away from being pegged as a singer-songwriter.
“I think of Heart Harbor as having this full, rounded sound that is more than just me,” she said. “Once I get everything recorded, I want to build a band.”
But look for more stripped-down performances at the upcoming fundraiser.
“Just my electric guitar and me,” Hallet said.
But she also hinted that McKeown might back her up on synth for a couple songs.
For more information on Hallet and Heart Harbor, visit www.heartharbor.squarespace.com. To donate money toward her debut album, visit www.igg.me/at/heartharbor.