Hard Drive is a group composed of five members of the Memphis Area Bluegrass Association (MABA) who met at association functions. Several members of the group had played together in various configurations at jam sessions and other events. Over time, someone suggested that since there seemed to be a musical and personal connection, it might be fun to take the next step and put together a few songs to play at association functions and maybe even other events.
The group began meeting a couple of times a month in early 2001 to put together a few tunes “just for fun”. Since those initial get-togethers, they have continued to get together a couple of times a month – with the same emphasis as in the beginning – just to have some fun.
The members of Hard Drive have a common interest in the same intangibles that draw most musicians and fans to the high, lonesome sound – tight vocals and music with drive and feeling. The group is particularly influenced by the hard driving sound of the Del McCoury Band. However, their tastes run the bluegrass gamut from the traditional styles of Bill Monroe, Del McCoury, and Ricky Skaggs to the more contemporary styles of the Lonesome River Band and Blue Highway. Click Here to hear a sample of Hard Drive’s hard driving sound.
Where did the name Hard Drive come from? It was suggested by Jim Phillips, our great friend and former guitarist, to describe the sound of the band. It’s really a take-off on Bill Monroe’s description of bluegrass music – “It’s got a hard drive to it. It’s Scotch bagpipes and old-time fiddling…. It’s blues and jazz, and it has a high lonesome sound. It’s plain music that tells a story. It’s played from my heart to your heart, and it will touch you.”
Several members of the group have previously been sidemen in other groups. The group doesn’t really have a true front man – they could be described as an amateur version of the acclaimed Sidemen group in Nashville. The Sidemen – Memphis Chapter! All the members of the group can and do sing lead and various harmony parts.