Hard Garden: Blue Yonder
Seattle is building quite a lexicon of electronic based music and the trio Hard Garden aim to add a little blues to the mix. Delta blues duo Son Jack Jr. and Michael Wilde along with mix master Garret Williams have released their first full length album ‘Blue Yonder,’ a fresh take on the basis of all pop music.aka… “the blues,” by mixing it with an entirely programmed backup, full of found and sampled sounds. Anchored by Son Jack’s deep groovin’ guitar and Wilde’s hot harp, the tunes run the gamut from dance hall stomp to tales of personal lament.
The first highlight begins by quoting founding father Son House and then transforming his classic “Depot Blues,” into a Euro dance party anthem. The deep dark funk of “Papa’s In The Juke Joint,” burns with some nasty slide playing and EDM drop outs, and the southern fried techno tango “I can Tell,” would be suitable for the Treme’ soundtrack. Jack penned his own theme song in the gritty riff based “Dangerous,” and we are treated to a bonus remix version from Scudder, who gives it the full treatment. The saucy tale of a bloke on a bar stool and a talking dog “Pour Me Another,” display’s not only Son Jack’s droll wit and charm but some hot harp licks from Wilde who then recants his own night of debauchery on the minor key technotic “Maximum Insecurity.” The frolicking “Showtime,” is a light hearted tribute to the God father of soul.
HG describe the blues as, “not unlike an old plot of land that was once fertile but has suffered from neglect over the years, and become a hard garden.” With Blue Yonder the group may indeed have sparked some new growth in a genre that undeniably is at the root of all things and deserves to be nurtured to a fresh spring.
Rick J Bowen