Blues Beat


By DOMENIC FORCELLA
Torrington Register-Citizen
February, 2002


On Saturday, Heather Hardy offers a different taste of the blues at Blues Alley. She leads her own band doing vocals and playing violin. Because the band is having such a good time, it just naturally carries over to the audience. It takes many approaches to mold the attitude of a leader, and Hardy has learned those lessons. She has also overcome DeQuervains tendinitis, a swelling of the tendons along the thumb side of the wrist. Hardy takes the complicated side of music and brings it easily to the audience.

Hardy presents an air of confidence when she plays. The blues violinist has worked as a sideman for over 10 years and has stepped forward as a leader. Her music has its own presence. A soul soothing combination of musical styles, each showing its supporting for the other. Her music reflects her approach to life.
She leads her group, Little Mama. She calls the shots, but not in a way to draw attention to herself. Small movements are the commands. Hardy's years as a sideman, is now paying dividends. She has put together the right people using teamwork to succeed. While she has her own songs and concepts, there's room for other people's ideas.

Hardy does the vocals and plays violin. Of course the live performance meshes nicely and audience enthusiasm happens quickly. She has a unique way of making a musical statement, it seems simple, but the complexity soon is apparent.

She began to hone her musical skills by studying piano at the age of six. In the fourth grade, she took violin lessons from teachers she remembers fondly because they were not only effective, but they encouraged her to play and enjoy what she was doing. She continued her studies through high school and at the Manhattan School of Music.

She tried her skills as a street musician in Greenwich Village, the East Village session scene, playing with punk bands and folk singers. Eventually she hooked up with The Sam Taylor Band, first as a featured soloist and then vocalist. Hardy performs with raw emotion giving her the freedom to sway and move gracefully and sensually in direct response to the band and her own solos and vocals and work to keep you the audience involved.

Any questions or comments should be sent to Domenic Forcella c/o Blues Beat, The Herald, One Herald Square, New Britain, CT 06050 or e-mail at TWBlus@aol.com.