I’m the electric harpist on Steve Vai’s “Story of Light” album and on the tour. I spent 20 years working with the CAMAC Company in France to develop this amazing electric harp, Steve saw me playing it on YouTube, invited me to join his band — and it’s the experience of a lifetime! Imagine getting to join a rock band with one of the world’s greatest living guitarists … with your electric HARP!
I’m writing a Rock-Harp-Diaries blog series about my experience in the band, from first rehearsals through tourdates (all the posts should be listed in the sidebar on this page) – and this is the page where we’ll be listing all the fan photo albums, reviews, videos from the tour that I’m part of. So we’ll be updating this page as the tour continues.
(A note about Facebook Albums: As far as we know, the Facebook photos we shared below can be viewed by anyone that has a Facebook account)
- Not sure where these were taken – Photos: Michael Inman – See photo collection on Facebook
- Asheville, NC at The Orange Peel – Photographer Tammy Buckner See photo collection on Facebook
- St. Petersberg, FL – Photographer Maggie Ruiz See photo collection on Facebook
- Lancaster, PA at The Chameleon Club – Photographer Betsy Chapman See photo collection on Facebook
- Concerts2012.Wordpress.com: (This is a photo & video blog, from the LA and the Agoura Hills, CA shows.) See Photos here
- Charlotte, NC (at the Fillmore) – I joined powerhouse singer Beverly McClellan from “The Voice” in her opening set See YouTube video
- Here are some YouTube Fan videos where you can see the band & my role in it:
VELORUM – Charlotte, NC 8/20/12 – in this cut you’ll see a wide shot of the whole band plus a couple brief melodies I take with Steve as well See YouTube Video
WHISPERING A PRAYER: About 2 minutes into this tune, I play a solo section I created that combines Vai’s beautiful melody with an accompaniment Debussy or Ravel might have used. As my model I used Ravel’s “Introduction and Allegro”
– Whispering a Prayer (Atlanta, GA – 8/23/12) See YouTube Video
– Whispering a Prayer (Charlotte, NC – 8/20/12) See YouTube Video
- Concerts2012.Wordpress.com: (This is a photo & video blog, from the LA and the Agoura Hills, CA shows on 10/12 & 10/13.) See videos here
- Whispering a Prayer, Steve Vai with Deborah – Helsinki, Finland. Oct. 23,2012 See video here
In Print: Reviews, Blogs, Articles etc.
- “… The next member of the band played electric harp and keyboards, yes,electric harp! I had never seen one played in a rock band before but it worked extremely well. In addition, this lady used distortion and wah-wah with the harp. She also played keyboards while the harp was strapped to her. She was incredible…..” Reviewed here
- At BoyanBo.com:“Electric Harpist – Deborah – telling fun facts about her custom made harp. If memory serves she said: “It weighs 11lbs. but 18lbs. with all the lights. Every string has a separate pickup and on top there are levers for each string so one can change pitch/key or do bends ” Yeah, bending notes on a harp!Deborah joined Steve Vai on “For The Love of God,” a performance, which of course, brought the fucking house down!!! The rest of the blog here
- At TheAquarian.com: “Among the standout tracks is “Mullach A’tSi,” a contemplative duet interweaving Vai’s subdued axework with the heavenly electric harp of Deborah Henson-Conant. It casts a relaxing spell. This genre-crossing, Grammy-nominated musician, who Vai reportedly called the “Jimi Hendrix of the harp,” usually…” Reviewed here
- DetroitSplash.com: “Guitar wizardry dominated most of the night with techniques ranging from 8-finger tapping and swept arpeggio-picking to brilliant guitar effects and incredible tremolo embellishments. However, accompanying Vai that evening was an equally impressive group of highly talented musicians in their own right… Read more
- OrangeCountryReverb.com: You know from the get-go that a show is about to rank high on the scale of epic-ness when you are introduced to the band’s electric harp player. Come on! How awesome is that when you can effectively incorporate an electric harp?! Deborah Henson somehow matched Vai’s radical sound gracefully pulling levers and pounding her strings for booming effect. The electrified instrument fell straight from the hands of mohawk clad angels… Read more
- RockHaven.com: While Vai held everyone’s attention for the majority of the show his harpist, Deborah Henson-Conant, was also was given the spotlight to solo on her instrument of choice. She performed this on an electric harp that had lights attached and was strapped to her to carry. The solo added a different dimension to the show… Read more
- Concerts2012.Wordpress.com: (This is a photo & video blog, very little writing. Both the LA and the Agoura Hills, CA shows were reviewed.) “Electric harpist, Deborah Henson-Conant was quite an experience to see.” Another quote “The unique and gifted electric harp player, the great bass playing, the incredible drumming and the out-of-this-world guitar playing sold me on immediately seeing this show again. … Deborah Henson-Conant on the electric harp needs to be seen to be believed.” Read More
- Rushonrock.com: Review of Newcastle, UK show. “Harpist Deborah Henson-Conant added a powerful and trance-like slant to the traditional rock dynamic.” Read more
- ConcertsCaptured.co.uk: Review of the Wolverhampton, UK show. “…each band member played a solo on their respective instrument. However, it was electric harpist Deborah Henson-Conant who I was most amazed by, not only by her multi-genre spanning solo, but also the inclusion of the intro to ‘Whispering a Prayer’ which added a whole new dimension of emotion to the song as it was accompanied by Vai on electric guitar and Dave Weiner, Vai’s rhythm guitarist, on keyboard. Read more.