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Coney Island Moon

Andrew Hardin

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Album Review

Tom Russell's fans already know that his band companion, co-producer, and sought after sideman, Andrew Hardin, is one of the great country rock guitar players. All one needs to do is to listen to Russell's Road to Byamon album to hear Hardin rip off insert frills and solos that are brilliant in their improvisation, speed, and authority, always with a delicacy that is appropriate. Now Hardin has produced and released a solo instrumental album on the Irish label Round Tower Music (RTMCD 76) of mostly originals. The tunes range from Texas border styles to Hawaiian-influenced "Hawaiian Holiday" to trad. favorite, "The Lake of Pontchartrain, "which is an object lesson in subtle sonic variations on a well-known tune, to the down home country of "Big Rig Country." Just listen to how effortlessly snappy the playing is. Other players should just step aside and let Andrew Hardin's Coney Island Moon stand beside other great instrumental albums. He plays acoustic, electric guitars, bass, tiple and percussion, assisted by Hank Bones, Amos Garrett, Albert Lee and Tom Russell. The playing is uncommonly clean and Hardin knows how to get the right sound on the right tune, never forcing one limited feel onto various unsuspecting melodies. His use of the volume pedal, tremello, and other sound enhancers is fresh, tasty, and restrained. He never has to show off how good he is. Like Pete Kennedy's instrumental showcase Shearwater, Hardin's album will set a standar for other acoustic/electric players to admire.

Coney Island Moon, Andrew Hardin
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