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Vilai Harrington

  • Written by  THE BANJO RESERVE
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Vilai Harrington Vilai Harrington

Vilai Harrington hails from a background as diverse as any.  His grandparents hail from the Carolinas, MidWest and Hawaii.  Growing up his musical interest were greatly shaped by his  Father, Grandfather and Mom's desire to shield him from the shallow lyrics of pop artists.  Therefore, the music he heard and learned to love were the sounds of Hank Willaims, Sr., Johnny Cash,  Buddy Holly, Otis Redding, Pete Seeger, the Beatles and other classic artists of the 50s. 60s, 70s, & 80s like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dean Martin and Prince.  While the music spanned decades and genres, it had one thing in common....meaningful lyrics and true soul.  Growing up, Harrington always enjoyed singing but did not take naturally to instruments. He always loved them but felt out of reach. One day his grandmother came home with an old Sears-Roebuck banjo with only one string. The young boy was intrigued. The banjo was sold soon but the seed had been planted. Throughout high school, he played trumpet, bass guitar and an old ukulele of his dad's for school praise band with friends. After high school, Harrington was gifted his own banjo. He then started to look more at himself musically. Soon he was writing music and lyrics. Now based out of Greenville, SC. Vilai Harrington travels through the U.S. sharing his eclectic story through the eyes of a Clawhammer troubadour.

"Soul filled folk music with Appalachian roots. Some of your work reminds me of what church hymns would sound like if they were for mother earth." - Adams Mitchell; Co-founder and writer for Creases Zine

"Folk On! Aiken born folk musician Vilai Harrington has recently released a self titled album that carries with it the classic down to earth sound that has made Vilai known around the region. Opening with ‘The Hike’ and a lovely ballad called ‘Pour Life’ the album begins as Vilai did with humble roots from which a vibrant tree grows. The album crescendos and climaxes with a very toe tappin’ tune called ‘Saddle Back’. The album is a truly is a quarter-hour of raw folk emotion. Vilai’s picking style along with the way he sings across the melody creates a sound that is both minimalistic and room filling." - Rick Stahman; Co-founder and writer for Creases Zine