Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

    Southern Grunge Band T. Hardy Morris and the Hardknocks come to The Saturn in Birmingham


    Athens-based T. Hardy Morris and the Hardknocks will be playing their new album, “Drownin’ on a Mountaintop,” at The Saturn on December 12th. Like the album title, Morris exists on a sort of creative mountaintop, carving out his own musical niche.

    “It’s just my version of rock and roll,” Morris said.

    Morris’ musical style is a melding of his southern roots and grunge, something Morris calls “crunge.”

    “It’s kind of country mixed with sloppy grunge and garage. We got pedal steel and loud rock and guitars and drums,” Morris said, “kind of just marrying those two worlds together, both of which I enjoy.”

    The most recent album is his second solo effort, and departs from the style of the first one.

    “The idea behind was I had done one solo record and it was pretty mellow, which was…something that I wanted to do and kinda get out of my system. After I did that I was ready to be loud again,” Morris said.

    In a sort of last hurrah to an old lifestyle, “Drownin’ on a Mountaintop” explores the sort of rowdy behavior typical of rockers.

    “I wrote and recorded a lot of it leading up to the birth of my daughter and so some of it was kind of expelling a lot of that youth…knowing I had to be a dear old dad pretty soon,” Morris said, “I wanted to have that feel of raucous and have a good time…there’s nothing on the album that’s too terribly serious.”

    Hardy said his nature is best depicted in the aptly titled “My Me.”

    “There’s a line that says ‘cut my losses and grew my hair’…the whole song is just kind of about doing what you want, not at the expense of others, but certainly with not much concern for what they think…just doing your own thing and not worrying if someone’s going to like it,” Morris said, “what people expect or purchase should not be at the front of your mind when you’re doing something creative.”

    Morris cites the famous Athens music scene as helpful in fostering his creativity.

    “It’s an extremely supportive scene that’s not real cliquey or trendy…just a lot of artists doing their own thing. People just hear about a new band and their like ‘oh I should go check em out’…it’s not competitive,” Morris said.

    Sometimes with solo acts, it’s easy to forget the backing bands—Morris doesn’t forget his Hardknocks, a collection of various old friends and veterans of the Athens music scene.

    “It wouldn’t have sounded the same with any different people…[the album] is a creation of the players involved,” Morris said.

    Morris, a veteran tourer, certainly enjoys playing live shows.

    “I like it a lot. Touring with the Hardknocks is a lot of fun, it’s easy and it’s a good vibe all around… All that really matters is playing,” Morris said.

    Charlie Smith, venue manager at The Saturn, shares his sentiment.

    “I’ve been told that his live show is spectacular,” Smith said.

    Besides more Dead Confederate and solo albums, Morris doesn’t plan on changing his style anytime soon.

    “You can only venture so far and you’re not yourself anymore…I mean I’ve been writing some stuff that is more mellow…it’s the nature of the environment you’re living in. I’ve got a sleeping baby in the house half the time so it’s gotta be quiet…but no dance beats or anything like that,” Morris said.

    The show conveniently starts right after finals are over, and costs $10.

    “Students should come out to Saturn because we are a brand new music venue in town…we aim to give all fans of music the best live show experience,” Smith said.

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