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Daniel Hardin is a singer/songwriter and guitarist out of Athens, Ga. Influenced by a wide range of artists such as John Mayer, Vulfpeck, Ben Folds, and Collective soul, his songwriting fuses cultivated melodies with irresistible grooves to form his unique spin on the rock genre. Having recently graduated from the University of Georgia, he has released his second album, titled “Spice Cabinet”. It features nine completely different songs, some earnest and introspective, some playful and laid-back, but all with completely different moods and flavors. The album brushes with everything from his acoustic beginnings, his blues rock roots, his funk influences, his pop sensibility, and even his love for live jazz.
The album also features musicians that he has long looked up to as a young musician. The first track, “Blow You Away” features a solo from Mark Lettieri of Snarky Puppy and The Fearless Flyers, as well as baritone guitar work from the Canadian guitarist Ariel Posen. Posen was named one of “The 10 best rock guitarists in the world today” by MusicRadar.com, and is also featured playing in his signature slide-guitar style on the slow, emotive, and dynamic acoustic track, “Stray”. The third track of the album, an upbeat, Ben Folds-inspired piano narrative about the path of a disgruntled corporate employee, features Aaron Sterling, who is most well known as being the drummer for John Mayer, as well as a studio session drummer that has played on the projects of a wide range of artists from Harry Styles to Dean Martin. The fifth track is a cover of the 1974 Billy Preston hit “Nothing From Nothing”. It features the horn section of popular local Athens band, Misnomer, in addition to rhythm work and a blazing solo by the young Berklee piano prodigy, Jesus Molina. Molina, best known for his impressive videos posted to his growing Instagram audience of over 450,000 is quickly rising on the international jazz scene. Finally, the last track on the album, a fusion version of the Dave Brubeck classic, “Take Five”, features the local Atlanta Turkish Jazz drumming legend, Emrah Kotan, playing a mind-melting solo that breaks all of the conventions of traditional jazz drums, and accentuates his background in middle-eastern rhythms.
Misnomer is an instrumental group based out of Athens, Georgia. It began as a collective of students from the University of Georgia who channeled their influences from classical, jazz, hip-hop and R&B into something unique. The group is fronted by saxes, trumpets, and trombones; it is backed by a rhythm section of keyboards, bass, and drums. Misnomer draws influence from artists such as OutKast, Anderson .Paak, NO BS! Brass Band, and GroundUp Music. According to Flagpole Magazine, “[Misnomer’s] music is as exciting as it is uncategorizable. The horn-centric outfit blends jazz fusion, deep funk, instrumental hip hop, and modern classical to create an intoxicating sound that’s unlike anything else in town.”
Misnomer has shared the stage with several nationally-touring acts including Here Come The Mummies, Turkuaz, CBDB, and Marshall Gilkes. The band has been recognized as Athens' Artist of the Year, and Neighborhood, their first full-length album, has been recognized as Athens' Album of the Year. Their latest record, Strength in Numbers, is available on all major streaming services.