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Jack Hardy


Jack Hardy

Jack Hardy

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Description of Jack Hardy's Music:

Contemporary and traditional folk, Celtic folk music, topical/protest singer, singer-songwriter


Jack Hardy was part of a New York City folk music scene which helped launch the careers of folks as versatile as Christine Lavin, John Gorka, Lyle Lovett, Tracy Chapman, Suzanne Vega, Lucy Kaplansky and Shawn Colvin (to name a few). Anyone interested in those artists would probably enjoy the work of Jack Hardy, as would folks interested in traditional folk music and the mid-20th-Century folk revival. Fans of Woody Guthrie, Phil Ochs, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Ani DiFranco the New Lost City Ramblers, the Weavers, and more would enjoy the contributions made my Jack Hardy.

Recommended Albums by Jack Hardy:

Rye Grass (Great Divide Records, 2009) compare prices

The Tinker's Coin (Celtic Anthology) (Great Divide Records, 2005) compare prices

The Passing (Great Divide, 1997) compare prices

Purchase/Download Jack Hardy MP3s:

"The Drinking Song" (from The Tinker's Coin Celtic Anthology)
"The January Cold" (from Fast Folk Musical Magazine)
"I Ought to Know" (from Omens)

Jack Hardy Biography:

Jack Hardy (John Studebaker Hardy) was born in South Bend, Indiana, in November of 1947. His parents were both artists - his mother a painter and his father a musician - so Jack grew up surrounded by the pull of creative expression. During his childhood, his family moved from Indiana to New York City, where Hardy grew up (his father became a Dean of Students at Julliard). He also spent time in his childhood living in Aspen, Colo., and Durham, Conn.

In college (he attended the University of Hartford), he got in trouble for drawing an offensive cartoon of then-President Nixon in the newspaper for which he was the Editor. After college, in 1973, Hardy moved back to New York and started making music in the still-trucking Greenwich Village folk music scene.

By the mid-to-late '70s, Jack Hardy had started a songwriter's night in Greenwich village which migrated from club to club, finally landing at the Cornelia Street Cafe before migrating to his living room. During the early 1980s, the songwriter's night became known as Fast Folk, as its focus was on producing recordings quickly, turning songs debuted at open mic into recordings played on the radio within a week or two. Fast Folk was also focused on songwriting collaborations and feedback within the scene, which gave rise to working friendships, which eventually gave rise to some incredibly successful performers. Among the artists to emerge from Hardy's Fast Folk scene were John Gorka, Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, and others.

Eventually, as noted, the open mic/hootenanny evolved to where it became a gathering in Hardy's living room. He maintained the songwriter's weekly gathering right up until his death in 2011.

From his official biography:

He has had eight of his plays produced. He founded and edited The Fast Folk Musical Magazine, which issued 105 compilation recordings of (then) unknown artists over its fifteen years, now residing in the Smithsonian. It helped to shape and spearhead the folk and acoustic revival of the '80s and '90s. He started ... the country's longest-running weekly songwriters workshop, now in its 34th year, at his Greenwich Village Apartment. In 1997 he was awarded the Kate Wolf Memorial Award, given to "an artist who makes a difference through his music" by the World Folk Music Association.
Hardy died in March 2011 at the age of 63, following complications from lung cancer. He is survived by his son and three daughters, two ex-wives, two grandchildren, and his parents...not to mention generations of songwriters heavily influenced and directly touched by his contributions to the New York City folksinger scene.
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