Bakersfield, California a place known for Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, enthused, the same star like genes into the ever hard working and ever talented JD Hardy. JD was born in Orange, California and his parents moved to Bakersfield, CA. when he was nine months old. He was only three years of age when he started to sing in church along with his father. At the age of five, he started handling those massive and complicated musical instruments, like drums & guitar. He started his journey of music from Bakersfield, while the two remained inspirational figures to him.
He grew up listening to some of the best country music including the ones by Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, Hank Jr, Waylon & Willie, Dwight Yoakum and George Straight. Even rock music succeeded in holding his fantasies tight, and so he kept a close check on the evergreen Guns n’ Roses. Besides, Hardy always had a taste for all kinds of music, from Southern rock to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He had always appreciated all forms of music: a reason why his music is widely treasured all across the nation.
Fortunately, his first album was with the legendary producer Ray Ruff who has worked with artist such as Kenny Rogers, Hank Williams, Jr., Merle Haggard, and George Strait. In addition, Ruff launched the careers of artists such as Dwight Yoakum and Juice Newton.
JD, I understand Ray is great to work with, what’s your favorite story?
Well I have a lot which is crazy because I only knew Ray for three months before he passed away. Ray and I had a lot in common being that we’re both cowboys, we hit it off immediately. But one of my favorite stories is when Ray signed me to his label, Oak Records. We were having supper in LA and after we signed the contract Ray looked at me and said “ok so now we go to work and I don’t want you drinking until this record is finished starting now!” So I laughed, ha-ha! He says, “No I’m serious, JD if I’m going to draw the best out of you then the party stops and the work begins.” So with a serious face I said, “of course Ray” as I looked at my cousin who was with me and winked.
But for me the party had a few more hours to go and then I would follow Ray’s orders. As soon as Ray left we started ordering whiskey and told the waitress to keep em’ coming every five minutes until we’re cross eyed, ha-ha! So a few hours later our driver showed up ready to get us home safe in my F-250 4X4 King Ranch which was jacked up to the sky! I miss that truck. Anyway, as we pulled in the driveway and parked I was telling one of my famous stories and my cousin said all of a sudden I was just gone.
Need less to say I fell out of my big ol truck, HAHA! The bad part is that I broke my nose, not good! The next morning or maybe early afternoon Ray sent his son to get me because I wasn’t responding to any of the many phone calls. I heard the pounding on the door and when I opened it Ray’s son said, Awe Crap! He called Ray and told him I looked pretty hungover and he wasn’t sure but thought that maybe my nose had been broken because there was still blood all over the clothes I was wearing from the night before. Oh Man!!!
Well Ray then wanted me at his house in Santa Clarita, ASAP! Not good, I thought well it’s all over. But when we got to his house and I walked through his front door I thought now he’s going to kill me! Ha-ha! I had no idea Ray raised and lived with mountain lions one of which was sitting on the couch with him. WOW! As I stood in the front door I said I’ll just talk to you from here! Ray said, “don’t be afraid of these cats they’re the most loving animals on the planet! Well he didn’t kill me but he didn’t terminate my contract either so I came out of it with a new friend and some great memories. I miss him dearly.
The new single was produced with Don Johnson who produced Emmy Lou Harris, Flying Burrito Brothers and has also served as Musical Director for Ricky Skaggs. Hardy is currently working with music industry veteran Jeff Robert from CSG music and sound mixer Mark Ettel on the catchy tracks “Ride on” and “Country Save Me” Ettel is a premier sound mixer who has worked with the best of them, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Michael Jackson to name a few. With all the world famous people recognizing Hardy’s talent and hearing the music myself, I’m confident that it wont be long before JD Hardy’s music is brought to the rest of the world.
The projected release date for his new record is late this summer. Please visit and stay tuned to the links below for more information on JD Hardy’s status.