A Tribute to Jack Hardy



John Gorka- Down Where the Rabbits Run

Click on the title to listen and download a low quality version (64 kbps, 1,6 MB) of the song. If you want the high quality version (8 MB, 320 kbps) you have to download the Fast Folk Jack Hardy Tribute Issue Zip file below

John Gorka, guitar and vocal
Mark Dann,bass
Recorded by John Gorka and Mark Dann

Jack Hardy wrote this song in 1976.

Jack Hardy passed away on March 11, 2011. Click here if you want to read more about the sad news.

Fast Folk Jack Hardy Tribute Issue

Click here to download
The Zip file (381,2 MB) is for a limited time as a free download available.

Fast Folk Jack Hardy Tribute Parts 1 & 2 These folders contain the double-cd of twenty-four artists (Richard Shindell, Lucy Kaplansky, Suzanne Vega, John Gorka, Christine Lavin etc) doing Jack's songs, plus two from Jack himself. They are in mp3 format, and are playable on any computer or mp3-based device (iPod/phones, etc.). The two parts can be dragged into iTunes, where they will be read as two separate albums, with the songs in their correct order. From there you can burn the two CDs if you wish.

Fast Folk Magazine - Jack Hardy Tribute Issue.pdf This is a 149-page magazine, in the Fast Folk tradition: articles, song lyrics, pictures, and more.

Jack Hardy - Live - Ponderosa.mov This is from Jack's last European tour, in December, 2010. Thanks to Wolfgang Sedlatschek for this!

John Gorka and Jack Hardy Photo courtesy of Brian Rose


John Gorka about Jack Hardy in the Fast Folk Magazine- Jack Hardy Tribute Issue (page 23/24):

Utah Philips called Jack Hardy a great mystic poet. People knew Jack in many different ways. Let me tell you about the Jack I knew. To me he was a hero who became a friend. I met him in June of 1979 at Godfrey Daniels Coffeehouse in Bethlehem, PA.

My friend Russ Rentler and I were the opening act for Jack, as the Razzy Dazzy Brothers. I got to talk to Jack that night about writing songs. At the time he was on a schedule finishing a song a week. Most of the songs he played that night he had written in the previous 18 months. I was astounded that someone could come up with that many quality original songs in that short a time. I knew that novelists would sit down and write everyday but I thought songwriters waited for inspiration to strike. Jack said that night thats a cop out. He said if you put yourself on a schedule and work at it you will get better as a writer. You will write more and you will get better faster. Even if you throw out 3/4 of the songs you write, by exercising the writing muscles your writing will grow stronger. That night I decided to try writing on a schedule. The first year I tried to write one song a month and ended up with more songs than months, so I tried for two songs a month and would stay with that goal for many years. After the show we went next door to the Lehigh Tavern where I tried Guinness Stout for the first time, establishing a tradition of sharing songs and adult beverages that would last 30 years. Jacks records Mirror of My Madness and The Nameless One were on my turntable the whole summer of 1979.

A few years later I opened for Jack at Godfreyfs and he said that sometime when I'm in NYC I should do something for The Fast Folk Magazine. I was familiar with The Coop from its very


first issue with the Table of Contents taped on the side of a blank record cover. It was a thrilling idea that songwriters without record deals could be on a record and get a chance to be heard in far--]flung places. I came into the city later that year but wasnft able to connect with Mark Dann so I went to The Cornelia Street Song Exchange and played a song I had just written. Jack was there and afterwards said that he loved the song ("I Saw a Stranger With Your Hair") and that there were a number of new songwriters that he wanted to help bring along and that I was one of them. I canft tell you how much those words meant to me. No one encouraged me more when I needed encouragement the most.

In late 1984 he asked me to be a part of the core group of singers that would back people up at The Fast Folk shows in Boston and at The Bottom Line in New York. The other singers were Richard Meyer, Shawn Colvin and Lucy Kaplansky. I was in the audience for the Bottom Line show earlier that year and was knocked out by the talent on that stage. I started attending Jacks Houston Street gatherings whenever I could, driving from Easton, PA to the MetroPark Station in Edison, NJ and taking the train into the city. I loved going to those little parties.

Somewhere along the line I became a regular outpatient from the NY Fast Folk scene. It was a very inspiring bunch of people.

I was glad to be a part of it. By the time we realized it was a scene, that scene was over.

I would see Jack at folk festivals in the following years and I was always glad to see him and pass the guitar around the campfires at Kerrville, Falcon Ridge or the parking lot of the hotel in Okemah, OK at the Woody Guthrie Festival. I'd often ask for "Potter's Field" from The Nameless One and Jack would oblige and I would try to sing the harmony.

I always enjoyed his music and the way he presented it both on record and live.I loved his voice and what he did with it. His guitar and mandolin playing were always very solid and musical. He always had good players . in person and on record. He would make records with everybody playing and singing, direct to two- tracks in some cases. He would make them in a day. Ifm glad he made so many of them. It makes not having him around a little bit easier. The lyrics are so rich in imagery and allusions. Someone asked him once where he went for inspiration. He said: "to the library."

I dont know what they all mean or were about, but I enjoy them for their atmosphere and mystery. He meant the words and music to go deep, to go below conscious levels to some primal territory. He brought me there.

These are a few words about the man I knew. He encouraged and inspired a lot of young writers. He didnt have to do that. It is a very rare thing.

My guess is that it will be a long time to measure the loss. I will miss him. I dont like the punctuation marks that say a life is over. I dont want to put a period at the end of this one.

I dont believe in them.


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