This is the second article in a series about capital region musicians supporting community causes.
When asked why she invests so much time back into the community, Erin Harkes will say simply, “Many reasons.”
Harkes has been playing music for over 15 years. She has been playing solo and with band members several evenings a week, sharing her bluesy voice and originals at various capital region venues
She contributes her success to the support that she has gotten from family. Also musically inclined, her mom has influenced Erin to share her talent.
“My mom loves music and she has always been supportive, for both my brother and me,” said Harkes. “He plays drums. She started me out with a piano. At nineteen I wanted to play an instrument that was a little more portable, so I taught myself to play guitar, to write music. She has always been encouraging us to keep working at it.”
Harke’s perseverance has paid off. She has two CDs in circulation and is working on a third.
She recently played a benefit for Middleburg Central School’s Booster Club to replace supplies lost during hurricane Irene. She went to school there and it was hard to see the devastation caused. A month ago she played with other local musicians for “A Home For Joe” to earn monies for a handicapped accessible home for veteran Joe Wilkinson. It was a day-long event and well attended.
This Friday she hopes to draw a crowd to the Obrien’s Public House in Troy as the owner of the venue recently lost her home to a fire.
“Honestly, it is really hard for me to say no if it is a good cause,” added Harkes. “I am very blessed to have everything I have, and I am fortunate to have this talent and love of music to share. It feels good to put energy into it, and it makes me feel good to help, to put what I have been given, to good use.”