By Dara Bramson
Raffa Harris and Rainer Davies are Miami musicians with an agenda – and surprisingly, it’s not to become famous. Stolen Coal is the name of their album. Don’t worry, though; it’s not a collection of Christmas songs.
Twenty four-year-old Raffa and 20-year-old Rainer are Miami natives and graduates of Killian high school and the New World School of the Arts. The two had played together for years and so it seemed only natural when they united last year to create an original album, incorporating Raffa’s unique guitar and vocal style and Rainer’s jazz guitar talents.
Genre: like nothing you’ve ever heard. “Some call it acoustic folk, we call it sweet la-la… because it is,” chuckled Raffa. Definitely sweet, but way more than la-la, their old-radio song styles are designed to serenade having been influenced by artists like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. “Any girl with a guitar,” Raffa beamed.
Both Raffa and Rainer are huge supporters of Miami’s local music scene. “If you’re interested in new music, it’s important to explore what’s around you. Anyone can buy a major label CD at a store, but wonderful music is available around the corner from you every night.” The two are regulars at local music hubs like Churchill’s on NE 2nd Ave. and Cornerstone, on North Miami Ave., where they play 30-minute sets every Thursday night as one of the few featured groups.
The twosome is preparing for an east coast tour slated for December, with artists Jesse Jackson and Kevin Russell. Raffa expects they’ll be touring for a month in their jumbo van with a queen-size bed in the back. “We’re going on tour to entertain audiences out of Miami and share each others’ music. Something magical will happen, beautiful music will be made.” Though they wouldn’t deny signing with a major label, it’s not a priority. “More important than ‘making it’ is making good music. We want to create something that’s not so standard, something original.”
For now, their haven is www.myspace.com/raffaandrainer. Four of the 13 songs on the album can be heard online. Their CD will soon be available at Sweat Records, 2320 NE 2nd Avenue, and upcoming gigs will be posted online. Raffa can be contacted through the site if you’d like to hear the rest of the album sooner; maybe she’ll serenade you if you buy a CD. But if you wait until it’s out in stores, acoustic folk will be the most likely genre you’d find it under. Raffa’s outlook? “Acoustic folk? I can deal with that. But sweet la-la is better.”