T. Hardy Morris's Grunge Country comes to The Royal American

Zach Bjur



When asked if he had anything to say to those who are attending, T. Hardy Morris only had one piece of advice – “Get liquored up before you come, but don’t be late.”


T. Hardy Morris’ latest album Drownin’ on a Mountaintop is the second solo album from the Athens based Dead Confederate front man. Where his first solo effort Audition Tapes is a melodic and hypnotic album that eases you into a comfortable melancholy, Hardy’s latest effort is a frenetic and irreverent set of songs that dabbles with elements of grunge and southern rock. As you make your way through the album you’ll hear elements of both at play with each other in an unlikely but satisfying marriage. As Hardy sees it the album is a “tongue and cheek jab at both,” he takes what he wants from each and sews them together as he sees fit. Hardy sums up the fusion best “I don’t know, it sounded like a good time to me.”

The album starts off with a familiar southern lilt as Hardy makes his case for staying home instead of a trip to the bar in “Young Assumption.” But by the time you’ve reached “Painted on Attitude” and “Likes of Me” the album’s energy is in full effect – and with the exception of the aptly named “Quieter (When I Leave Town),” there’s no slowing down until it’s over.

The title track “Drownin’ on a Mountaintop” is the poster child for the album’s unique sound. The song charges through the gates with no frills rock straight from a garage in the 1990’s. Then it falls gracefully into a twangy swing that could be at home in any honky-tonk, only to rush right back into a drum driven, head banging march.  The schizophrenic tension embodies the push and pull that resonates throughout the album as full on rock negotiates its way around laid back country sensibilities.

Drownin’ on a Mountaintop  is an album that only The Hardknocks could make. As Hardy’s southern sound and Vaughn Lamb’s fluid bass are enticed into the realms of lo-fi rock by Nick Sterchi’s heavy handed drumming and Matt Stoessel’s pedal steel guitar you’re left with an amalgam that is at once soothing and delightfully nerve-wracking. “This album was more of a full band effort” says Hardy “I love my band, they’re bad ass.”

T. Hardy Morris and the Hardknocks will be at The Royal American December 18th at 9 pm. Ten dollars gets you in to what is sure to be a raucous time. “It’s a fun show” says Hardy “the band has a lot of energy, I’m looking forward to getting back on the road with them. It’s different than anything else you’ll see this year, that’s for sure.” When asked if he had anything to say to those who are attending Hardy only had one piece of advice – “Get liquored up before you come, but don’t be late.”