Bryan Harvey (April 27, 1956 – January 1, 2006) was an American musician noted for his fronting role in House of Freaks. He was murdered with his wife Kathryn and their two daughters Stella (9) and Ruby (4) on January 1, 2006.
Harvey first gained attention in the early 1980s as singer-guitarist in a power pop band based out of Richmond, Virginia called The Dads. Popular at East Coast colleges, the band reached the pinnacle of its success in 1984 with the release, on CBS records, of its self-titled album.
Harvey's subsequent musical career included long-time participation in the indie supergroup Gutterball, which featured former Dream Syndicate frontman Steve Wynn. Harvey's most enduring project, however, was House of Freaks, a two-man band with Richmond percussionist Johnny Hott, who had a penchant for banging on anything he could drag into the studio that made the noise he wanted.
House of Freaks was signed to Rhino Records for their first three albums, but had trouble finding a permanent home towards the end of the band's existence, bouncing around from indie to indie. They played with other groups on occasion, most notably on a couple of tracks with the Norfolk band Waxing Poetics (whose first album was produced by REM's Mike Mills). Their debt to the blues was evident from their first album, but they later moved more and more towards the stripped down style of rockabilly bands like the Chickasaw Mudpuppies and the Flat Duo Jets. However, they were closer in spirit to artists like Tom Waits or Lyle Lovett, exploring in particular the blessing/curse of family and community and their effects on the individual.
House of Freaks called it quits in 1995. Both members were involved with the making of the most recent Gutterball outing, but the rumors say that Hott has left that group as well and been replaced by the drummer for The dB's. Bryan Harvey completed a solo album in early 1997, which remains unreleased. Gutterball is still considered to be an open project by the people involved; however, no plans have been made to record new material.
It was former bandmate-friend Hott who approached the Harvey home in South Richmond in anticipation of a New Year's Day party and discovered that the house was on fire. Authorities subsequently found the four family members slain in the basement, the result of a home invasion.
In early 2006, a compilation album of Harvey's music, Remember Me Well, was released.
Famous quotes containing the words bryan and/or harvey:
“Do you know I believe that [William Jennings] Bryan will force his nomination on the Democrats again. I believe he will either do this by advocating Prohibition, or else he will run on a Prohibition platform independent of the Democrats. But you will see that the year before the election he will organize a mammoth lecture tour and will make Prohibition the leading note of every address.”
—William Howard Taft (18571930)
“Called on one occasion to a homestead cabin whose occupant had been found frozen to death, Coroner Harvey opened the door, glanced in, and instantly pronounced his verdict, Deader n hell!”
—For the State of Nebraska, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)