Jesse Harris - one of four musicians playing together at the Tin Angel on Wednesday - is used to having his name linked with other artists.
After all, this is the guy who wrote Norah Jones' biggest hit, the dreamy "Don't Know Why" (plus four other songs on her multimillion-selling debut Come Away With Me), and walked away with a Grammy for his work.
Since then, the 37-year-old singer-songwriter has continued to expand his resume, writing songs for Madeleine Peyroux and Lizz Wright, producing up-and-comer Sasha Dobson's debut disc and now scoring a movie, The Hottest State, set for release in August. In addition to having his understated, sometimes elegant pop/folk songs performed for the soundtrack by what he calls "an amazingly talented collection of people" - including longtime pal Jones, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, and Cat Power - Harris sings three songs himself. And he's in the movie, too, playing . . . a musician.
"I only have a few lines, but I was much more nervous about those few lines than about the music," the affable and soft-spoken New Yorker says. "Scoring a film was exciting - something new, something different. I learned a lot."
Harris also has his own record, Feel, coming out in July via Velour Music Group, which has him on the road with three label mates, Massachusetts-based singer Chris Pureka, guitarist-singer Ryan Scott and 23-year-old Midwesterner (now New York City-based) Krystle Warren. Each singer will do a set Wednesday, something Harris says allows listeners to get several mini-concerts for the price of one.
"It's a nice, intimate showcase for each of us," he says.
Harris plans to focus on songs from Feel, which he describes as a marked departure from his 2006 solo effort, the sparsely atmospheric Mineral. The new disc, Harris says, has a distinct focus on percussive rhythms, and has him toying with one of his favorite instruments, the banjo.
"I really want people to hear this record; I think it's strikingly different," he says. And what about the predictions that Harris will eventually record a song that will transform him into a mega-selling "male Norah Jones"?
"I just love to write and play music," he says. "I'm letting the journey take me where it will."