Backyard Blues

 

HEATHER HARDY "I Believe"

 

By JOE GRANDWILLIAMS
Backyard Blues
Long Island Blues Society


Long known as the incendiary violinist of the Sam Taylor band, Ms. Hardy's latest CD shows she stands in nobody's shadow, but she does keep some spectacular company.

The first notes of the song "Chi Chi" are an amalgam of Kurt Weill, country fiddling and some of the deepest blues you are going to hear. Then it kicks into a driving rhythmic romp. Following closely behind is the title track, co-written with bassest Mike Nordberg. Here is a showcase for Hardy's silky vocals as well as an affirmation of her personal philosophy. Nordberg also co-wrote "Traffic Violation" a paean to vehicle ownership in New York City as well as a catalog of violin parts against a funk background.

Anytime you see Heather Hardy, it's a safe bet Sam Taylor isn't too far away and this in no exception. A guest vocal shot on his own composition "Physical Thing" is a study in contrasts and compounds. "Pipe Dream" is probably my favorite piece on this collection. The lyrical juxtaposition of reality and fantasy provide a comfort zone against the exquisite keyboard work of Dona Oxford, while Hiromasa Suzuki's guitar engages in some serious interplay with Hardy's violin. "Oh Blues" would be a close second, although her piece for her son, "Jacob's Song" manages to convey the joy she has found in motherhood without getting syrupy.

I have been listening to this to this since I got it, and every play reveals more layers of musicianship and lyrical talent. This is a highly recommended CD.