Jack Hardy, was the Bard of the Village.
One of the most prolific Folk Musicians of our time.
Jack Hardy was a unique man with a unique voice. While his own music ranged from Celtic folk to roots-inspired Country folk in his later years, the voices that came out of his collective of songwriters and musicians are dynamic, diverse and famously eclectic. Some are names well known to the public and include Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, John Gorka and Christine Lavin. Many others are less well known, but are equally exciting. They all gathered in Jack’s living room to eat pasta and hold their latest creations up to peer scrutiny. In his later years Jack teamed up with long time friend David Massengill and the two became the Folk Brothers, playing and recording until Jack's untimely death in 2011.
Jack knew how to get himself noticed from an early age. In 1969, while a student at the University of Hartford and serving as the editor of its “The News-Liberated Press” , he was arrested and convicted of libel after publishing a lewd cartoon of then-President Nixon.
In the mid-1970s Jack began hosting a Monday night songwriter's circle in his apartment on Houston Street, open to both seasoned veterans as well as beginners. At the same time he began what would become the songwriter's night at the Cornelia Street Cafe. That songwriter's group eventually became the Songwriter's Exchange which released its first album on Stash records in 1980. In 1982 Jack founded, and became the editor of the Fast Folk Musical Magazine.
Jack Hardy was a mover and shaker in his own way. He touched the lives of many talented songwriters with his ear, his voice and his infectious spirit. Never one to shy away from telling the truth or letting people know what he thought, Jack’s songs are a mirror of who he was. His understanding of the human condition and what was important made his music relevant on the most visceral level. He had something to say and he said it.
“Bard of the Village” will explore Jack's world, his influences and legacy in the downtown folk scene. Through interviews with the musicians and songwriters who he called friends, his family and contemporaries, I hope to paint a picture of a man who was less well known than he should have been, and whose voice and heart are still out there performing, writing and sending out the message every night where his influence is still felt. As a testament to Jack, friends and colleagues, will perform their favorite Jack songs in an intimate studio setting.
My ultimate goal for the documentary is to celebrate the man, the world he helped create and shape, and to shine a light on the folk movement that still exists and thrives here in NYC.