Local artist to debut first album in concert

PARKERSBURG -Christian musician Matt Harris, a 2006 Parkersburg High graduate and three-year member of the Big Red Choir, never thought his music would come off the page or change people when he began writing in high school.

“I dabbled with lyrics in high school,” said Harris. “I was writing my songs in my journal but was too shy and scared to share them.”

Harris attended Fairmont State after PHS and received a degree in criminal justice in 2010 before accepting a job at Pressley Ridge School of West Virginia where he worked with troubled adolescents and teens.

“I never forgot about the music, but I was still not convinced there was a need for the words to come off the page,” said Harris.

It was while working at Pressley, Harris began to see possible needs for his music.

Harris cites one song “Come Back Home” which could have helped a young lady in her moment of need; the song features a girl who grew up in a bad home, fell in with the wrong crowd and eventually became suicidal before turning her life around.

“The song is a reminder to her or (anyone) that there is so much to live for and when your own way doesn’t work anymore, you can always return to the people who love you and start again,” said Harris. “I felt that those words would have aided her had she just heard them in that moment.”

Harris knew he could not keep his songs to himself after bearing witness to the girl’s pain and began gathering tracks to compile into his first album, which will debut during a free concert at 6 p.m. March 30 at Calvary Baptist Church, 607 Wayside Farm Road in Parkersburg.

The concert will feature his album “Come Back Home,” which consists of 11 tracks and will include Harris explaining the meaning and inspiration behind each song.

Harris shares a song that will be included in the concert “Goodbye” and tells that the song was written to express his regrets over not spending more time with his grandfather while he was dying and going through chemotherapy or him making excuses not to see the man after his attendance at every baseball game or birthday party of Harris’ growing up.

He knows the song is sad, but there is a happy message at the end, that Harris will see his grandfather again someday and will be able to apologize.

Harris invites everyone to attend and will be available after the show for photos and questions. His CD will be available for $10.