01. Night Train To Paris
Jack Hardy was an American singer-songwriter based in Greenwich Village, NYC since the mid ‘seventies and a vastly influential figure in the American and European folk music scenes for decades. He was cited as a major influence by Suzanne Vega & John Gorka among others. He was also the founding editor of Fast Folk Musical Magazine, that for 20 years had a full album in each issue and whose entire catalog is now part of Smithsonian Folkways.
While Hardy's name never achieved the level of fame of Vega, Gorka, or the many he recorded for Fast Folk (i.e. Tracy Chapman, Lyle Lovett, David Wilcox, Elliott Murphy or The Roches), he continually built on his substantial catalog of acute, well-crafted songs and was awarded the Kate Wolf Memorial Award by the World Folk Music Association in 1996.
The New York Times once wrote "Mr. Hardy is no imitator. The words may sometimes get too clever for their own good, but they are clever. He avoids a too obvious reliance on Dylan with his recurrent use of Scottish & Irish folk music materials, and the musicality of his singing and playing. His voice especially - an extremely husky, even whispery baritone subject to a good deal of subtle control - stands out attractively”.
Jack died in 2011 and throughout his 40 years career he remained independent, releasing 15 albums, sometime licensing ‘em to small European labels, as he was more appreciated and revered in this continent than in the US. As a result, he kept touring Europe for almost 30 years, often with his brother Jeff who tragically perished in the 9/11 Twin Towers attack.
He was a lyrical writer; his songs were political, although usually subtly so. His songs were romantic, although in a unique literate way. They are all served with an abundant dose of cynicism, sagacity and wisdom.
This 1993 live recording presents Jack Hardy when touring Italy and it is taken from a dedicated soundboard feed for maximum fidelity. It is expected the album will satisfy the most discerning buyer.
INSIDE LINER NOTES
"When it all started" by Adelmo Quadrio
It was Oct. 31,1980 and I was going to meet him for the first time.
That day my mood was as grey as the sky. Maybe because my car travelling to Freudenstadt, Germany, had been exhausting as I drove non-stop for hours to be on time for the gig at the club, scheduled for 8.00 pm sharp... or perhaps 'cause I didn't know anything of the man, not even his face.
In my hands I had a white covered LP — "Mirror of my Madness", first edition — with a few notes inside and a letter I had gotten some weeks before. It was from Jack: he was amazed that someone who lived so far away from NYC could know his songs.
I arrived earlier, so I met him at the hotel. It was 6.00 pm: he was at a table with his band and two older people that, as I found out later, were his parents.
With my poor English I asked: 'Which of you is Jack?", but I soon realized who the man I was looking for was. It is still in my eyes the way he made a bow, his right hand on his heart to show his thankfulness for the long and painful trip I embarked to meet him.
His hand on his heart..."What's in here" he said pointing his finger at his head "must flow into here" and he pointed at his heart.
From that gesture I got the feeling that I hadn't pushed far beyond my front garden.
I felt he was somehow easy going and familiar to me, like someone I had already frequented in my mind and then I had the opportunity to meet in person and get acquainted with.
This was the way and the day that started it all.
Right on the spot we literally invented, out of the blue, his first concert in Italy (he would then get back ironically to that, because - due to a misprint - the playbill was printed with a missing "C", hence CONERTO instead of CONCERTO.
"The first ... coneeeerto!".
I will never forget that evening. From that very same moment it stayed inside of me as a gift full of consolation, a memory I can't live without ... a sign of destiny. I can't help thinking of my life without this invisible thread that has and will always lead me with its presence.
Thank you Jack
Jack Hardy - Lead Vocals, Guitar
David Hamburger - Dobro
Jeff Hardy - Bass, Vocals
Wendy Beckerman - Backing Vocals
Recorded live in Caprino Veronese, Italy - November 23, 1993
Artwork by Cinzia Pinto - Audiophile Mastering by Renato Bottani
PRODUCED FOR RELEASE BY RENATO BOTTANI & MARCO MELZI
Very Special Thanks to Adelmo Quadrio and to the Jack Hardy Estate - Eva, Morgan, Miranda & Malcom - for their permission to this release
It was raining in NY that night of September ‘84 when the cab stopped at 178 W Houston Street where an amused Jack was waiting for me on the 3rd floor with a pile of FAST FOLK LP’s I had requested. Yes, his kindness was not second to his ART.
Renato Bottani , May 2023
01. Night Train To Paris
02. The Tailor
03. Houston Street
04. The Black Hole
05. I Have Eyes
06. Castle In The Rain
07. Das Kapital
08. May Day
09. Orphan From Madrid
10. The Coyote
11. Two Of Swords
12. The Zephyr
13. The Creation
14. Porto Limon
15. The High Line
16. The 111th Pennsylvane
17. The Hunter