The daring engineer/producer Scott Harding (aka Scotty Hard) has worked with some of the biggest names in hip-hop, jazz, alternative and creative music. Over the last year, saxophonist Michael Blake has been producing Party Hard (for Scotty Hard) with the intentions of both helping a friend and making a point about the value of intellectual property. Michael and the community of musicians behind Party Hard (for Scotty Hard) are proud to announce the release of this very special track in tandem with the Music Frees All Festival; a three day benefit for Scott happening this weekend (July 19th - 21st). Party Hard is a funky furlough that takes the listener through a gamut of musical territories, with spine tingling solos from John Medeski, David Tronzo, Marcus Rojas and Blake. All of the musicians played from their hearts, bringing a unique brand of soul and musicianship to every beat.
In 2008 after a near fatal car accident that left him paralyzed, the eclectic engineer/producer Scotty Hard spent many months recovering in NY hospitals. After being diagnosed with a severe spinal cord injury, Scott worked his butt off in rehab to regain the strength, independence and skills required to start a new life. The outpouring of support on both coasts was immense. The Scotty Hard Trust was set up in his name to help raise funds that provide him immediate and long-term financial support. Unfortunately, not long after his recovery, his health took a left turn. For over two years a circle of friends helped Scotty get the rest he needed in order for him to heal from a pressure wound. While he had limited access to his wheelchair and thus less time to work, his trust has been depleted. Scotty’s patience has finally started to pay off! The wound is healing and he is slowly getting back to work.
Michael and Scott’s relationship goes back to their college days but a pivotal recording - 1997’s Kingdom of Champa with the legendary producer Teo Macero at the helm - introduced Scott to a new generation of innovative musicians. After 1997 Scott recorded landmark albums with Medeski, Martin and Wood, Sex Mob, Charlie Hunter and Vijay Iyer, among others.
Michael recorded the bed tracks at their friend Leif Arntzen’s home studio, later adding Miles Arntzen’s driving drum tracks, John Medeski’s B3 organ and a horn section. When it was time to start editing and take the track to the next level Michael asked the versatile engineer/producer Teddy Kumpel to step in and help man the console. Teddy also added electric bass and recorded all of the remaining tracks. Scotty asked old friends Joel Hamilton to mix and Mike Fossenkemper to master. And just as the track was about to be released, musician/actor/artist John Lurie provided us with a fantastic final touch; a donation of his original painting ‘Abundance’ for the cover art. There isn’t a more appropriate word to use in describing the abundance of affection people feel towards Scotty. It is the cherry on top of a project filled with amazing surprises and world-class artists.
Like so many performing and recording artists Michael is interested in the debate about royalty and licensing rights for Internet streaming. In light of new technology and distribution methods musicians are at a crossroads with the music business as to how much money should be allocated for musicians rights. All of us involved in this project think it's important to raise awareness about the negative effects and long term destructive nature of deeming our music an entitlement to a 'free culture' and not worth paying for. With all the funding from downloads directly funding Scott's trust its irrefutable that there is not only value in a recorded work (worth protecting) but it also proves that this money provides an important source of income for artists that we can't afford to loose.
Party Hard was a pleasure to work on. All of the musicians and engineers donated their time to this cause. I am so proud and grateful that I can share the inspiration and influence of our friend Scott Harding with YOU!” – Michael Blake
“Every time he mixes it’s a performance.” - John Medeski
released July 15, 2013
A fund raiser for Scotty Hard featuring:
John Medeski - organ
David Tronzo - slide guitar
Tony Scherr - electric guitar
Kate Fenner - vocals
Marcus Rojas - tuba
Billy Martin - percussion
Miles Arntzen - drums
Teddy Kumpel – electric bass
Landon Knoblock - fender rhodes
Scotty Hard Horns - Steven Bernstein (trumpet and slide trumpet), Michael Blake (tenor sax), Leif Arntzen (trumpet and horn)
Mixed by Joel Hamilton
Mastered by Mike Fossenkemper
"Abundance" - Painting by John Lurie
Produced by Michael Blake