In the summer of 2011, local songwriter and performance artist Chris J. Hardy released his first solo album “Wine Stains.” The music was masterful and intricate with innovative arrangements and narrative melodic lines. Hardy quickly became recognized as one of the Bay Area’s most prolific songwriters.
Since that debut, Hardy has amassed enough music for at least three more albums. “The big release is coming this summer,” said Hardy. (While waiting for his new CD, you can check out the new music on Hardy’s ReverbNation site at www.reverbnation.com/chrisjhardy.)
Hardy’s music has taken a distinct shift in genres. “I am a songwriter first and foremost,” Hardy said. “I can write about whatever I feel like writing in any genre and experiment with all textures and flavors.” Currently Hardy has found a niche in the country world and performs his version of country music wearing a signature baseball cap, his devilish goatee, and warm Texas smile.
Hardy credits local musician Bryan Shayne for giving him a shot in the country world. In fact, he says it was his original song “New Sheriff In Heaven” that changed the course of his career.
So he will be focusing on releasing country songs. Why country songs? That’s easy.
“My life is a country song,” Hardy said. “Heartaches, heartbreaks, a travelling man hitting the road with a guitar case and living out of a suitcase… All of our lives are like a country song whether you will admit it or not.”
Hardy writes timeless songs stemming from real life. He records these words in spiral notebooks and uses the voice memo on his cell phone. There is no one formula for songwriting, but every song does have a process. It starts with the scratch version and gets refined with the syllables, lyrics, and rhyme.
“When I can’t make it any better, it’s done,” Hardy said.
He has worked diligently over the past couple of years of building his brand and earning his reputation as a stand up guy, a professional songwriter and performing artist who is able to connect effortlessly with his audience. Hardy says “there is nothing else I would rather do.” He wants everyone to be a Chris J. Hardy fan.
Every Tuesday night, he hosts an open mic night at Union Tavern. Open mic nights are how Hardy got his start and are his passion.”I love hosting open mic nights and finding new talent,” he said. “Bringing others up, brings me up too. It’s all about supporting the local music scene.” You can catch Hardy performing in venues from Clear Lake to Cypress to Crosby to Austin to Louisiana. When not on stage, he enjoys cold beer, his faithful dog, fishing, and most importantly, playing bingo with his daughter Madison.
Over the next few months, he hopes to have his live band “Hardy & Co.” in full swing. They are in the studio now.