Phillip E. Hardy
'Old Dog, New Tricks'

(Mad Monk records)


MARK: 85/100


Phil has experienced the LA music scene working the best showcase clubs (the Whiskey, Roxy, Troubador, Starwood and Madame Wongs), leading his band and playing with several others. He has recorded tracks with Walter Egan of Magnet and Steel fame, a demo with Marvin Etzioni, founding member of Lone Justice. He also auditioned for Billy Idol and Eddie Money, played live and recorded with ex-members from Asylum Kids, who opened for Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Motels and Rank and File. He was chosen to play drums for 2 gigs with bluesman Joe Houston and to backup Albert King's guitar disciple LA Jones, and the list might go on far longer.

This just to tell you that these 3 songs are enough to make you understand that his timing is as precise as the tick tock of Big Ben and rocks like a runaway renegade, already from the opener "Bourbon Street", a concentrate made with the finest elements of US pop-rock, quite groovy and lively, backupped by irresistible hooks in the refrain. Phil also sings on this CD and his warm voice does stand out in this track, thanks to his as skillful as possible usage of high and middle frequency range, later interrupted to make way for fading keyboarded piano lines.

Completely different are the shores touched with "She's the One", a lullaby-ballad full of love and positiveness, yet never too sugary, and you must consider that my teeth are very sensitive to caries; yes, it was tough, but I can assure you this nice old dog has gone thru this test uninjured, so you can be sure that boys and girls into rock will both like this Los Angelesian's material. A slow (actually too), tender song with a sorta Hawaiian guitar in the end.

The closure is entrusted with a rather long song, "The Drift", representing all of this musician's hints; after a bluesy start with pop keyboards, the pop rock structures come back again, sustained by a funky riff. And here comes my fave refrain, followed by a tasty 6-string solo; as though he wanted to mean between the lines: "That's not enough, uh?", there's additional place for a heartfelt jazzy final. Were I a record company's promoter, my choice for a single would fall onto this track.

If you dig American pop-rock, contact Phillip E. Hardy at once or purchase his CD at:


Mad Monk records, 17121 Berlin Lane, Huntington Beach, CA 92649 - USA
Ph: +1 (714) 625 0986

Phillip Hardy: vocals, drums and percussion
Bill Sotelo: bass and backing vocals
Steve Anderson: guitar
Tim McLane: keyboards