John Hardie | No Right to Sing the Blues

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Blues: Blues-Rock Rock: British Blues Moods: Featuring Guitar
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No Right to Sing the Blues

by John Hardie

A blues album that stays true to its roots yet brings diverse flavors such as reggae, latin and gospel into the mix, culminating in a delightful melting pot of story songs with sting-in-the-tail endings, righteous guitar and powerful vocals.
Genre: Blues: Blues-Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
1. No Right to Sing the Blues
3:56 $0.99
2. Hot Wheels
3:43 $0.99
3. Bye-Bye Baby (Baby Bye-Bye)
3:36 FREE
4. Ain't That Lovin' You Baby
3:38 $0.99
5. Heart of Stone
5:00 $0.99
6. Tijuana Boy
4:41 $0.99
7. I'll Be There for You
4:38 $0.99
8. Linda Sue
3:48 $0.99
9. This Train's Already Gone
4:52 $0.99
10. Pleased to Meet You, I'm the Blues
3:23 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
A very versatile and talented musician and educator, John Hardie puts a fresh face on the blues throughout No Right To Sing The Blues. His vocals are expressive, his lyrics are heartfelt and relevant, and his musicianship is impeccable. He leaves listeners with no doubt that he definitely has the right to sing the blues.

Born in London, John began playing his grandmother’s piano when he was four, starting lessons two years later. “When I was eight, I heard Duane Eddy, saved up my allowance, and bought an electric guitar. While growing up I listened to both the Beatles and jazz. When I got hooked on the Rolling Stones, they became the gateway to the blues.” John played guitar with a band at Saturday morning matinees in movie theaters, graduated to performing at cabarets and theater clubs in the United Kingdom, and led the house trio in several venues, opening for major acts and gaining experience as an accompanist. After studying music at Leeds University for three years (primarily contemporary classical music), he spent most of his twenties as a jazz pianist, leading a quartet in London. He also worked as an arranger and pianist with the Andy Ross Orchestra on the British television series Come Dancing.

John Hardie began visiting California in the 1980s, using Los Angeles as a base for cruise ship and hotel work. After meeting his future wife Linda, he settled in Palm Springs and, along with Linda, founded Willow Creek Productions, a teaching and recording studio. “Willow Creek Productions, which we started in 2005, was a dream that Linda and I had when we first met. It took us two years to get it started, starting with a half dozen students. But now we are at the point where we have a large waiting list of students. I teach jazz guitar players, jazz pianists, rock guitarist and pianists, people who just want to play classical music and even a couple of harmonica students.”

With all of his extensive experience, John has only recently been documenting his own music. On No Right To Sing The Blues, he plays all of the instruments (including three different guitars, harmonica, and keyboards), takes consistently powerful vocals, and contributes all of the music and lyrics. “For this set I included some originals that sound like traditional songs while a few others are completely different than one might expect to find on a blues album.”

John begins the CD with the title cut. “‘No Right To Sing The Blues’ came to me complete. I’ve never been down and out on the street but everyone gets the blues sometimes.” The song evolved and became the story of an unfaithful woman. “Hot Wheels” is a very unusual minor blues in that it utilizes a reggae rhythm. It includes the classic line “a little heartache goes a long, long way.”

“Bye-Bye-Baby (Baby Bye-Bye),” in addition to the catchy title, has a storyline that John particularly enjoys. “It is about a guy whose guitar playing is driving his girlfriend nuts. He leaves her, decides to give her a second chance but, as soon as he comes back, she starts complaining again, so he leaves her permanently.”

“Ain’t That Lovin’ You” is a blues with a surprise ending. “During the whole song, it sounds like the singer is in love with this great woman. But at its very end he asks ‘What have you ever done for me?’ That gives an entirely different slant to the whole story.” The minor blues “Heart Of Stone” also has an ironic ending that makes that piece seem like science fiction.

“Tijuana Boy” bridges the gap between blues and Latin music, with the story being about a quick escape to Tijuana. “I’ll Be There For You,” a blues ballad, is a spiritual and inspirational song. “’Linda Sue’ is how my partner Linda would have been, or I now imagine her to be, if I had met when she was a teenager; she would have been pretty feisty!”

“This Train’s Already Gone,” one of the most rousing performances on the set, gives John an opportunity to stretch out on both piano and guitar. The CD concludes with “Pleased To Meet You, I’m The Blues.” “A student of mine, a fine guitar player, wanted to know how one can play a blues using jazz rather than blues progressions. This song is definitely a blues but has tons of chords rather than three. I particularly like this piece because it personifies the blues as an actual person, a little like ‘Good Morning Heartache’ does.”

John Hardie shows throughout No Right To Sing The Blues that he is a masterful bluesman, one whose skills, enthusiasm and creativity is keeping the music alive in the 21st century.

Scott Yanow, author of ten books including The Jazz Singers, Swing, Jazz On Film and Jazz On Record 1917-76



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