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Music runs deep in the DNA of Tyler and Shane Fogerty.
And true to their heritage, they've created their own strand as HeartyHar, whose debut album RADIO ASTRO is the work of rockers who are seasonedbeyond their years and live up to their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame lineage witha strand of that DNA they can truly call their own.
The sons of John Fogerty have been working under the Hearty Hearmoniker for since 2012, honing their crafts as songwriters and studio handsinto a fully formed enterprise. RADIO ASTRO shows off the brothers'wide-ranging musicality; diversity while capturing an identifiable core soundfrom sibling chemistry. And plenty of hard work.
"We both really like to record and be in the studio," Tylersays. "We've spent a lot of time experimenting and honing and learning howto use everything. Our whole thing is ``Let's just make good-sounding recordsand songs." Shane adds that, "I feel like we're constantly chasingsomething new and something exciting, trying to find sounds and trying toexpand what we've done so far and always trying to elevate it. I think that'sthe goal and what we're trying to follow."
The 11 tracks on RADIO ASTRO more than bear that out. With Tyler andShane writing on their own, and two tracks composed together, the set kicks offin garage rock, lava lamp shimmer of "Radio Man" and over the courseof the album Hearty Har runs a gamut from the psychedelic blues of "OneFor the Other" to the gritty, Stax-flavored soul of "Calling You Out," the Britpop nods of "Don't Go Looking For Me" and "Get Down,"touches of Middle Eastern in "Fare Thee Well" and a sprawlinginstrumental, "Canyon of the Banshee," that lets the group "kindof flex our muscles," according to Tyler.
Ask the brothers about their influences and they'll talk about theBeatles, the Kinks, the Rolling Stones, Electric Light Orchestra and EnnioMorricone -- which they stirred into their own kind of sonic stew for RADIOASTRO.
"We're definitely open to experimentation and go down that routea lot with sounds and stuff. We don't just plug in and do what works," Shaneexplains. "I think our strength is we don't really classify ourselves tohave one kind of specific sound every time. Each song has its own path tofollow."
The Fogertys’ grounding in musical ambition dates back to birth,practically, with osmosis -- including plenty of time accompanying dad on theroad -- playing as much of a part as training or conscious thought. Shane,who's been part of his father's band since 2011, acknowledges that there was atime he "pushed away the music side," focusing on skateboarding andother activities, while Tyler developed interests in art and photography thatcontinue to this day. "We never felt pressure to do (music)," saysTyler, who was featured during shows on John Fogerty's 50 Year Trip Tour during2019. Nevertheless, Shane studied musicat the University of Southern California, while Tyler spent his college yearsat the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).
They started Hearty Har -- the name popped into Tyler's head whilewatching a Bruce Springsteen concert in London's Hyde Park -- during that time,with Tyler's "acoustic, folk kind of songs" gradually expanding,especially after Shane became part of the band. The group did play out, butwhen the brothers built a studio at home in Thousand Oaks, Calif., thepotential for Hearty Har truly became evident.
"We got really focused on getting the sounds we wanted,"Tyler recalls. "We had recorded before, but it just seemed like all theengineers we were working with didn't really understand what we wanted. Once wehad the studio, it started to get exciting."
Part perfectionists and part mad scientists, Tyler and Shaneacknowledge they've discarded more ideas than they've taken to completion overthe years. The songs that meet those exacting standards share a timelessurgency; You can imagine hearing "Can't Keep Waiting" or "Don'tGo Looking For Me" or "Get Down" or "Scream andShout!" at Woodstock -- or Lollapalooza. And there's openness in many ofthe arrangements that would have man a remixer licking their chops over.
The good news is there's more where RADIO ASTRO came from. While Tylerand Shane are looking forward to taking Hearty Har to the stage, the studioremains their fertile playground. And that makes the album just the first ofwhat they hope will be a great many creative statements moving forward.
"I just hope people love it and appreciateit," Shane says. "I feel like the music speaks for itself, and whenpeople hear it they'll understand."
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