Imbuing the American folk tradition with his indie pop sensibilities, singer-songwriter Andy Hackbarth creates music bearing the stamp of the contemporary West.
Since returning to his native Colorado, Andy has completed his highly anticipated acoustic indie experiment: Treadmill Horses (EP). Treadmill Horses represents a landmark project.
Not only does Andy Hackbarth join the choice few indie artists who preserve the folk ethic of acoustic instrumentation, but he also manages to create a cohesive album while weaving together seemingly disparate musical traditions such as 19th
century Spanish Romanticism, jazz standards, the classical masters and contemporary indie rock.
These diverse influences result perhaps from the wanderlust that propels Andy in all areas of his life and especially in his musical interests. A native of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, Andy grew up hiking the back country alongside his family’s llamas. (They carried his guitars!)
Early on, he played songs by Jim Croce and Gordon Lightfoot around the campfire but quickly made room for the works of Tarrega, Granados or whatever classical composers he happened to be studying at the Aspen Music Festival and School.
Recognized as a classical guitar virtuoso in his early 20s, Andy sought to pursue new musical interests, in particular, writing his own songs. So, he relocated to Nashville, Tennessee until his songwriting was on par with his mastery of the guitar:
“You don’t realize how much you have to learn until you move to Nashville,” he says. “Truly great songs are so rare, and it’s an incredible feeling to know that you’ve written a song in which every word counts—one that forces everyone who hears it to stop, really listen, and look at the world in a completely different way.”
Achieving this very effect, Treadmill Horses represents Andy Hackbarth’s fourth album and contains seven carefully selected songs whose lyrics are as poetic as the arrangements are precise and beautiful. Featured tracks include: “1939,” the album’s first single, which expresses the thrills of one of America’s earliest paratroopers and the courage of his homefront wife through the use of evocative images and the juxtaposition of tender and anthemic melodies; the unnerving “My Baby Don’t Run,” which eerily celebrates the failure of an attempted mugging; and “Windmills,” a tribute to Pablo Neruda’s Odes.
In an ever-growing industry of talented artists, Andy Hackbarth distinguishes himself as a “triple-threat,” that is, one who is not just a striking vocalist, accomplished songwriter or gifted instrumentalist, but is all three. Like a breath of rarefied mountain air, his musicianship heightens the senses, while his music, taking full advantage, evokes a longing that is simultaneously nostalgic and expectant.
Band Members: Andy Hackbarth – Guitars, Vocals
Jean-Luc Davis – Bass, Vocals
Mike Hyland – Lead Guitar,Vocals
Luke Lindholm – Violin,
Kevin Matthews – Drums, Vocals