The upcoming single, due March 20th. “Blow You Away” is the second single from his upcoming album, “Spice Cabinet”
“…blends blues, rock, pop and soul into an irresistible fusion of pure, impassioned tunes.” – jansensjamz.com
Daniel Hardin is a singer/songwriter and guitarist out of Athens, Ga who tends to prefer the DIY approach. In between playing guitar and singing, he spent most of his high school years in nearby Alpharetta, Georgia learning the craft of building guitars from scratch, recording and mixing music, and songwriting. By his senior year, this allowed him to use a few of his handmade instruments and record his first self-produced, self-titled, full-length original album. Then, by recruiting local players to help him form a band, it wasn’t long before he began to play in local venues.
Influenced by a wide range of artists such as John Mayer, Vulfpeck, Ben Folds, and Collective soul, his songwriting fuses cultivated melodies with irresistible grooves to form his unique spin on the rock genre. All of this can be heard on his growing discography of one album, an EP, and five singles. His first album includes a soulful B.B. King tribute, “3 O’clock blues”, as well as the acoustic hook-driven “Old Day”. His 2017 single, “I’ll Be There”, shows a wildly different side of his musicality, combining groovy pop rhythms and catchy vocal harmonies to create a funky, reggae-influenced alt-rock track. His 2018 EP, titled “The Road Less Traveled” showcases the slap-guitar based “Miles Around” while the fourth track, “So Easily” is a slower, incredibly dynamic bluesy-rock track. 2019 saw the release of “All She Wrote” that featured Athens’ Ryan Maynard on drums to start the track off with a funky drum performance, followed by catchy choruses and a guitar solo that will catch the ear of any funk and blues fan.
Currently attending the University of Georgia, he has completed and scheduled the April 10th release of his second album, to be paired with a 2020 tour. The newest album, titled “Spice Cabinet”, features nine completely different songs, some earnest and introspective, some playful and laid-back, but all with completely different moods and flavors, thus the lighthearted and apt name. The album brushes with everything from his acoustic beginnings, his blues rock roots, his funk influences, his pop sensibility, and even his love for live jazz.
The album also features musicians that he has long looked up to as a young musician. The first track, “Blow You Away” features a solo from Mark Lettieri of Snarky Puppy and The Fearless Flyers, as well as baritone guitar work from the Canadian guitar virtuoso Ariel Posen. Posen was named one of “The 10 best rock guitarists in the world today” by readers of MusicRadar.com, and is also featured playing in his signature slide-guitar style on the slow, emotive, and dynamic acoustic track, “Stray”. The third track of the album, an upbeat, Ben Folds-inspired piano narrative about the path of a disgruntled corporate employee, features Aaron Sterling, who is most well known as being the drummer for John Mayer, as well as a studio session drummer that has played on the projects of a wide range of artists such as Harry Styles, Taylor Swift, Ben Rector, Keith Urban, Dean Martin, Sara Bareilles and countless others. The fifth track is a cover of the 1974 Billy Preston hit “Nothing From Nothing”. It features the horn section of popular local Athens band, Misnomer, in addition to rhythm work and a blazing solo by the young Berklee piano prodigy, Jesus Molina. Molina, best known for his impressive videos posted to his growing Instagram audience of over 280,000, became sponsored by Nord in 2018, and is quickly rising on the international jazz scene. Finally, the last track on the album, a fusion version of the Dave Brubeck classic, “Take Five”, features the local Atlanta Turkish Jazz drumming legend, Emrah Kotan, playing a mind-melting solo that breaks all of the conventions of traditional jazz drums, and accentuates his background in middle-eastern rhythms.
Hardin’s work on the album ranges from the diverse songwriting and tasteful guitar solos he is most known for, to the bass line in a select few of the songs, to the stirring lyrics paired with polished vocals, to the final mixing stage. However, the album was not a solo effort, and the expertise of many local musicians made the album ultimately what it is. The drumming work of Ryan Maynard, the upright and electric bass playing skill of Kevin Shelton, the funk bass prowess of Ben Crawford, the production and co-production genius of Colin Stevens, and the final mastering work of Joel Hatstat, all made “Spice Cabinet” an album that will not soon be forgotten and that represents only the beginning of what is to come for Daniel Hardin.