Music » Homespun

Jon Hardy & the Public

Working in Love

by

comment
Jon Hardy's voice is both strong and soft, which means he's able to belt out full-bodied declarations with vocals that are like the texture of warm, worn flannel. In places on Working in Love, Hardy's tenor recalls My Morning Jacket's Jim James minus all that reverb, and his slight hint of twang makes it easy to think of his band as an Americana outfit. It's closer to the truth to call them a rock & soul band in the vein of Van Morrison circa Tupelo Honey. A three-piece horn section enlivens many of Love's eleven tracks, providing a surprising pivot-point in the opener "Love Gone Wrong" and giving an earthy resonance to "I Will." On "Please, Baby Please," the horns propel the song's light swing to regal heights, as Hardy reminds his audience that "love's gonna shut your mouth."

Working in Love is an apt title for this collection of songs. Relationships of all stripes serve as the basis for these tracks, and Hardy's lyrics occupy a space where love itself is elusive and ever-changing, something that is hard-won. "Love Don't Work Like That" finds Hardy at his most urgent (which is still pretty genteel) as he details the ins and outs of love with his lady. The band saves the best for last; "Cassius Clay" floats like a butterfly but aches like a dream as Glenn LaBarre's lingering guitar lines and a distant bed of organ chords lend an ethereal grace to Hardy's words of devotion and doubt.

Want your CD to be considered for a review in this space? Send music c/o Riverfront Times, Attn: Homespun, 6358 Delmar Boulevard, Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63130. Email music@riverfronttimes.com for more information.

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.