His April;2015 release, Ken Hardley and the Moose Club, features Ken’s distinctive and deceptively versatile voice, expressive instrumental work, imaginative arrangements, and collaborations with outstanding musicians. These songs explore relationships – from anticipation, to hope, to bargaining and reluctant resignation, to finality, and to fond remembrance. Almost any way that a relationship can make you suffer, it’s probably here somewhere. But usually that suffering is presented through the bemusing and less-than-fully-serious lens through which Hardley habitually views the world.
As always, Hardley surrounds himself with first-rate musicians. John McEuen (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), Mary Ramsey and Jeff Erickson (10,000 Maniacs), Joe Dady (The Dady Brothers), Steve Piper, and many more, make appearances. Some of their contributions are solos that demand repeated listenings. Hear McEuen and Dady exchange solos on “Possum Trot” or Mary Ramsey’s viola on “Edna and Julia”. Some are more artful ambience-creating offerings, such as Erickson’s work on “Probably Just Fine.”
Produced by Armand Petri (Goo Goo Dolls, Sixpence None the Richer, 10,000 Maniacs, Flaming Lips), this album takes what is basically bluegrass/folk instrumentation and steers it into many different musical territories. Give it a listen. It’s music that might stretch your sensibilities. If you like that sort of thing.