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CD REVIEW: JD Hardy - Song Preview: "Ride On” (SINGLE) and “Country Saves Me"

by: Cyrus Rhodes

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Artist: JD Hardy

Album: Song Preview:: "Ride On” (SINGLE),“Country Saves Me (From the album - Rebels with a Cause)
Label: Independent Artist
Website: http://jdhardy.tmgartist.com/

Reverbnation http://www.reverbnation.com/jdhardy

Genre: Americana-Pop, Modern Country, Saloon Jazz, R&B
Sounds Like: Hank Williams Jr., Delbert McClinton and Brooks and Dunn, Lee Roy Parnell.

Technical Grade: 7/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 7/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 7/10
Best Songs: Country Saves Me
Weakness: More vocal fluidity, more solo segments 


CD REVIEW:

 

It's been 40 years since Lynyrd Skynyrd Sang "Sweet Home Alabama", it’s been over 60 years since the Godfather of Country Music, Hank Williams was found dead in the back of a Cadillac caused by an overdose of drugs and alcohol. Hank single handedly changed the face of music by combining mountain music and blues, creating Country Music . He blazed the trail for many country music artists as well as being a direct influence to the many great sounds that came from Sun Records. In July 1954 Elvis Presley cut a two sided record, “That’s Alright Mama” and “Blue Moon of Kentucky” a new blend of country rhythm & blues we know as “Rockabilly”! If you believe that trends in music reoccur in cycles, were long overdue for a revival. In the tradition of Lynrd Skynyrd, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley and all other artist who were inspired by them to make their own kind of music we bring you JD Hardy.

 

Today I'm listening to his latest 2 songs “Ride On and ”Country Saves Me.” Both song are featured on his Reverb nation page linked above. These songs are showcased on Hardy's latest 8 Track CD entitled “Rebels With a Cause". "Rebels with a Cause" is a compilation of old time story-telling Country Music and power ballads full of lyrics about Jesus, life in the country, love and patriotism. With influences from JD’s hometown heroes Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, J.D. Hardy’s brand of music is guaranteed to satisfy.

 

Things get off the ground nicely with the Track 1 the “Ride On (SINGLE)” a methodical yet flowing intro piece that serves up slamming rhythm guitar, impressive slide guitar, hooky groove meshed against a grand slam chorus. Also present are effective harmonies and soulful melody from Hardy that leave a lasting impression. The chorus on "Ride On" Really pulls out all the stops. Track 2 “Country Saves Me” shifts gears a bit with steady flowing rhythm, well placed guitar and impassioned vocals/lyrics from Hardy that are straight from the heart. It's an impressive heart felt follow-up statement. These 2 new tracks makes a great first impression - a good snapshot of the artist. The musicianship of everyone involved (which includes some impressive session players) is above the bar. I would classify this music as classic Americana Pop, with brief touches of Modern Country and even R&B. Music is reminiscent of classic Hank Williams Jr., Delbert McClinton and Brooks and Dunn, Keith Whitley, Lee Roy Parnell. Along the way you will notice lush instrumentation with things like impressive guitar, side guitar, and well placed harmonies all built upon a thick as a brick rhythm section. What I like the most about Hardy and his band is how well they seem to groove together, testament to hundreds of hours of writing and rehearsal time no doubt. Now turning our attention over to Hardy - as for his vocal abilities well he’s a great advent to this style of music. He's got a good lean look many females with gravitate towards, aand the guys will dig. His voice goes down smooth and fills the space peacefully and unobtrusively with a timber that has everything you would expect. He's got good power when the music calls for it. Hardy also plays guitar on the album. All songs are extremely well crafted and consistent across the board - world class songwriting. All the Engineering aspects are in check (Recording, Mixing, and Mastering) as the CD possesses Gold Standard solid low end punch and crystal clear high end clarity. These latest 2 tracks from Hardy deliver 2 solid tracks all providing musical enjoyment filled with strong musical variety and diversity. The music of JD Hardy has everything you would expect from a world class musical production.

 

Hardy does a good job at towing the line vocally during the chorus, but needs to be more fluid in the versus leading up to it. I Wish there were a few more solo segments on these 2 songs.

 

From start to finish these 2 hot hew tracks “Ride On” and “Country Saves Me” by JD Hardy deliver in spades. They are 2 barnburner songs that show a lot of depth to his musical personality. The songwriting – the gold standard, all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. Note for note, song for song there isn’t really weak piece on this entire catalog. The writing and playing abilities of Hardy and company are rock solid. The melodies and harmonies are well crafted, and the lyrical content is packed to the hilt with good old fashioned no holds barred R&B-Pop-Rock swagger. At the end of the day JD Hardy brings the mojo and is clearly a marquee talent based out of Bakersfield, CA. One would be wise to keep a watchful eye on him over the years to come.  Bring on the full length album. 

 

Cyrus Rhodes