Folkie releases new CD, preps for tune-filled boot camp.

Halo 3 Xbox Publisher: Microsoft

Platform: Xbox 360

Price: $59.99

ESRB Rating: M (for Mature)

Score: 9 (out of 10)

Local singer-songwriter Matt Harmon plays tracks from his new CD, Thumbs on the Wheel, at the Barking Spider tonight. The show also gives him a chance to tune up his guitar-picking skills before he heads to a musicians’ boot camp later this month -- when folkie Chris Smither will hopefully dispense tips that’ll launch the 32-year-old Cleveland Heights native into the big time. “Maybe he’ll send us all off into the woods to write better songs,” says Harmon. “My ultimate, selfish goal is that he likes my stuff well enough to help me out, so that I’m not playing with local bands the rest of my life.”

In addition to solo gigs, Harmon performs with the JiMiller Band and moonlights as a sound engineer at Tri-C. He teaches guitar lessons too. “It gets tough and hectic, but I’m trying to keep four or five balls in the air,” he says. “That’s par for the course for local musicians.” And like many of his contemplative, guitar-strumming peers, Harmon prefers to keep his stage show frill-free. “I’m just a songwriter and storyteller,” he says. “No banter, no gimmicks, and no joking around. And definitely no juggling or trampolines.”
Mon., Oct. 15, 8:30 p.m., 2007

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