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“This is a band that pulls absolutely no punches musically, lyrically, or emotionally.” — No Depression
Hardworker is a rock band from Durham, North Carolina. The band took its present shape when songwriting partners Sus Long and Mike Conner traded in their acoustic folk duo for something a bit louder with guitarist Danny Nowell in 2015. The trio was joined by drummer Patrick McGrew in 2019.
Songwriter Sus Long grew up in a Bay Area home steeped in the American songbook, but found herself converted to rock during her formative years by a well-timed trip to see the Hives. Her songs start from a folk foundation and build their way to melodic fury — Patty Griffin meets the Pixies, or Alabama Shakes if they’d started in the Haight. Her powerhouse vocals recall influences ranging from Billie Holliday to Freddie Mercury, while her lyrics retain the writer’s sensibility she sharpened in the fiction workshops where she and Danny first met.
On their 2017 full-length release, Go Alone, Hardworker’s sound comes together somewhere between Sus and Mike’s songwriting, Danny’s love of overdrive, and former-member Alex Treyz’s harmonic daredevilry. Go Alone was produced by Alex Bingham and engineered by Mitch Easter at the Fidelitorium in Kernersville, NC. At its most intimate moments, the album achieves the immediacy of Sus and Mike’s back-porch partnership, but at its biggest moments the record is nothing less than friends making the biggest ruckus they know how.
Last September, Hardworker released their EP Summer Months, recorded live at Overdub Lane in Durham and produced by Ryan Johnson of Silkworm Sound.