w/ Andrew Hardin & Jeannie Burns
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Featured Artist #1
"What's so bad about happy?" John Fullbright sings on the opening track of his new album, 'Songs.' It's a play on the writer's curse, the notion that new material can only come through heartbreak or depression, that great art is only born from suffering.
"A normal person, if they find themselves in a position of turmoil or grief, they'll say, 'I need to get out of this as fast as I can,'" says Fullbright. "A writer will say, 'How long can I stay in this until I get something good?' And that's a bullshit way to look at life," he laughs.
That plainspoken approach is part of what's fueled the young Oklahoman's remarkable rise. It was just two years ago that Fullbright released his debut studio album, 'From The Ground Up' to a swarm of critical acclaim. The LA Times called the record "preternaturally self-assured," while NPR hailed him as one of the 10 Artists You Should Have Known in 2012, saying "it's not every day a new artist…earns comparisons to great songwriters like Townes Van Zandt and Randy Newman, but Fullbright's music makes sense in such lofty company." The Wall Street Journal crowned him as giving one of the year's 10 best live performances, and the album also earned him the ASCAP Foundation's Harold Adamson Lyric Award. If there was any doubt that his debut announced the arrival of a songwriting force to be reckoned with, it was put to rest when 'From The Ground Up' was nominated for Best Americana Album at the GRAMMY Awards, which placed Fullbright alongside some of the genre's most iconic figures, including Bonnie Raitt.
"I never came into this with a whole lot of expectations," says Fullbright. "I just wanted to write really good songs, and with that outlook, everything else is a perk. The fact that we went to LA and played "Gawd Above" in front of a star-studded audience, never in my life would I have imagined that."
But for Fullbright, it hasn't been all the acclaim that means the most to him, but rather his entrance into a community of songwriters whose work he admires.
"When I started out, I was all by myself in a little town in Oklahoma where whatever you wanted, you just made it yourself," he explains. "I didn't grow up around musicians or like-minded songwriters, but I grew up around records. One of the most fulfilling things about the last two years is that now I'm surrounded by like-minded people in a community of peers. You don't feel so alone anymore."
If there's a recurring motif that jumps out upon first listen to 'Songs,' it's the act of writing, which is one Fullbright treats with the utmost respect. "When I discovered Townes Van Zandt, that's when I went, 'You know, this is something to be taken pretty damn seriously,'" says Fullbright. "'This is nothing to do with business, it has to do with art and identity.' You can write something that's going to outlast you, and immortality through song is a big draw."
Featured Artist #2
Andrew Hardin & Jeannie Burns
Guitarist Andrew Hardin and vocalist Jeannie Burns have teamed up to write, record, and perform as Hardin Burns. After meeting at Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in 2009, the two began writing what would eventually become their selfreleased debut recording "Lounge" in 2012. "Lounge" includes nine original songs and a cover of George Harrison's "Beware Of Darkness." The duo have also recorded a two-song CD of a new original "Ache" and Howlin' Wolf's classic "Smokestack Lightning." Acoustic Guitar Magazine included "Lounge" on its Essential Acoustic Albums list for 2012 and called it "...an addictive set of earthy, hook-filled melodies, stunning harmonies, and graceful virtuosity on acoustic and electric guitars."
In April 2014 , the duo recorded their second collection, entitled "Down The Deep Well" which will be released in the fall. Co-produced by Gabe Rhodes in Spicewood, Texas, the recording features legendary drummer Dony Wynn and upright bassist David Carroll.
Andrew Hardin lives outside of Austin, Texas, and is best known for his long association with songwriter Tom Russell. He has also performed and recorded with such artists as Jimmy LaFave, Eliza Gilkyson, Malcolm Holcombe, and Joel Guzman. He has released four solo albums of instrumental guitar music and a new retrospective entitled "Lost Pines" featuring noted guitarists Albert Lee and Amos Garrett.
Jeannie Burns, the eighth of twelve siblings, lives in Ithaca, New York, and performed with the Burns Sisters for over twenty years. The Burns Sisters released eight albums and have toured extensively as back up singers for Arlo Guthrie. Jeannie released an excellent solo album "Coming Up Close" in 2000.
What sets Hardin Burns apart from the crowd is their ability to combine traditional musical styles such as blues and country with visionary, modern lyrical ideas. Their sound brings to mind such acts as Raising Sand or CivilWars. Influences include Johnny Cash, Howlin' Wolf, Lucinda Williams, Warren Zevon, Al Green, the Rolling Stones, and George Harrison. In live performance, expect to hear Jeannie's evocative, bluesy vocals framed by Andrew's inspired and inventive guitar playing.