Sign up for newsletter
 

HARDY

This Ole Boy – 2018 (Big Loud)

Reviewed by Andrew Greenhalgh

Find it on Amazon

Subscribe to Country CD Reviews CD Reviews

CDs by HARDY

Perhaps better known to listeners as the songwriter behind number one hits "Up Down" (Morgan Wallen featuring Florida Georgia Line) and "Simple" (Florida Georgia Line), Philadelphia, Miss. native HARDY steps up to the microphone this time out with his debut EP, This Ole Boy. Featuring four radio ready tracks full of country swagger, the EP heralds the coming of another great voice.

The songs build heavily on country stereotypes, HARDY laying down his country cred hard here while also acknowledging some of the humor therein with the occasional wink and nod throughout. The country tropes are fully intentional though as HARDY shares, "I love that lifestyle, and that's what I want to talk about...People that are like me, or people who still live in small towns, still love that and want to hear that. That's why I'm who I am as an artist."

That affection for small town country life is readily apparent on the easy rolling of "Throwback," which finds the artist's vocals smooth and soulful, crooning out reminiscences of nights kicking back with a six pack, rocking out to Johnny Cash and reveling in the simple life. It's warm and heartfelt and rings with truth. Taking a more playful approach, "Rednecker" pushes the country stereotypes to an extreme and one can just imagine HARDY struggling to hold back a smile as he sings through a playful tale of country one-upmanship, the laid-back groove driving the track forward.

Romance steps to the fore on the title track, HARDY merging earnest small-town imagery together with a message of love that rings with just a big of an edge. His vocals are rich and strong, and the toe-tapping rhythm anchors the track and sets the table for the swampy vibes of "4x4," which continues the "We are country!" anthem with playful wordplay and a slow simmering backdrop that rocks.

"Three chords and the truth" is the line that's been used to describe country music, and HARDY packs a lot of truth, humor, and talent into four solid tracks oozing with great imagery and a seriously soulful delivery.