Three award-winning songwriters got together in 2005 for the sheer pleasure of playing each other’s music. The Harley String Band quickly became a mainstay of the DC area folk/Americana scene, noted for both their bold songwriting and their creative takes on covers from a wide range of genres. Supporting each other on a variety of acoustic instruments, they mine the deep veins of American music and breathe new life into traditional musical forms.

Photos: Matthew Leonard

Jim Clark

Retired from a high-powered job on the Hill, Jim Clark now writes songs instead of tax law. Of Welsh descent, Jim has traveled the world to explore the outer reaches of the Celtic Diaspora. He plays a handmade Irish Bouzouki he brought back from New Zealand. Heck, even his license plate reads “DADGAD” (on a Miata though?) . His songs, whether witty or tender, ring with authenticity.


Jim Johnson

The most “multi-” instrumentalist and the only biker in the band, Jim has been playing music since he was a teenager (many, many years ago). Over the years he has studied guitar, banjo, piano, violin, harmonica, and lately, has picked up (of all things) accordion and Native American flute.

Several of Jim’s songs have been recognized in songwriting competitions. As influences, he names "the masters": John Prine, Townes Van Zandt, and Lucinda Williams. Jim released a solo CD in 2005 titled "Horseshoes and Hand Grenades" containing 16 original songs. 

Steve Coffee

Steve is moved to write about intimate family moments as well as major events such as wars and migrations. Often, a lyric is simply about “keeping on keeping on” and is as likely to be acerbic as poignant in tone.

Steve's songs range widely in style, reflecting the influences of his favorite songwriters, among whom would be John Hiatt, Sam Phillips, and Al Stewart. Many songs are available for download at his website. Steve is also the Maestro of the Rain Follows the Plow project.

HSB Granny

Not to be forgotten, Granny is an important member of the team. Manager, publicist, and most loyal, if somewhat skeptical supporter, Granny keeps in touch with our fans through occasional messages from the road.