HEATHER HARDY "Violins"
By JOE GRANDWILLIAMS
If the first cut, 14th Street," were the only track on this CD, it would still be worth the price. An eerie, sonic trek down into a foreboding neighborhood, the sound draws you in even as all your inner senses scream danger. There are ten more cuts, however, and Hardy shows off her technical prowess on the violin, her amazingly strong vocals, and a gift for music and lyrics that rank her with some of the top composers in the field of blues music.
Hardy does not limit herself to the blues however. "Bluz Man" is a jazzy rocker, and the Sam Taylor penned "Devil in Your Eyes" (sung as a duet with Taylor), smacks of early rhythm and blues. Another Taylor composition, "Mama," is easily my favorite piece of this collection. It's a tale of advice ignored, lessons learned, and consequences paid as pride overcomes sense. The dark, swampy tones of the tune are underscored by the brightness of the violin almost like the Devil's red socks in the play Damn Yankees. Coming in closely second is Hardy's "Temptation," a dual showcase for her voice and violin. This is a highly recommended CD.