Kurt Hagardorn
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Kurt Hagardorn

Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE

Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Portland Tribune Article 6/26/07"

original article at http://www.portlandtribune.com/features/story.php?story_id=118272149407256700


Kurt Hagardorn
Local singer-songwriter Kurt Hagardorn has been selected as an early bird finalist for NPR’s Mountain Stage NewSong Contest, which will take place in New York this fall. A quick listen to his fine new album, “Ten Singles,” and it’s easy to see why.

Hagardorn has a knack for breezy, classic songs with just the right hint of twang. Smart without being smug, they’re the kind of tunes that gently creep into your consciousness and lazily linger on long after the disc has stopped playing.

Catch him while you can still find him at the Laurelthirst.

9:30 p.m. Thursday, June 28, Laurelthirst, 2958 N.E. Glisan St., 503-232-1504, $4

— Barbara Mitchell
- Portland tribune

"Review of Yesterday and Tomorrow"

Kurt Hagardorn has a straightforward vocal delivery that reminds me a bit of Harry Nilsson or the Beach Boys’ Mike Love, and he writes songs in somewhat of a similar vein to those artists at their most traditional. That’s not to say that Hagardorn is generic. He just takes a simple and emotive approach to his music that’s refreshing in a town whose musicians are always trying to out-freaky eachother. His latest, Ten Singles, is great Sunday morning fare, and it’s refreshing to hear songs that throw back to the simpler days of country and AM pop.

On “Yesterday And Tomorrow,” Hagardorn lays some existential plain talk on his listeners about his love life and his morning rituals. Man, his backing band sounds like solid gold on this track. The slide guitar, the clickety-clack drumbeat, the organ and walking bass all give the track a Nashville sound that totally does it for me. Thanks, Kurt!

- The Willamette Weekly www.wweek.com

"Review at Not Lame Records"

Mixing varied influences(Which are more hinted at, than overt), The Kinks, New Pornographers("International Travel Advisory" below), Big Star("Please Make It Last" below), Neil Young, Elephant 6 indie rock Beatle pop, Beach Boys, XTC, Laurel Canyon 70s pop, Cracker and a lot more. It's just freaking GOOD! REALLY, really, really good! BLEW me away - but not on first listen. One of those records that hit me as really, quite good on first listen but on subsequent listens not only opened itself up to me, but left me bowled over. Chock full of tunesmithy goodness, he's got this great roots pop thing happening that seems equally influenced by the Beatles, the Everly Brothers and some of the modern-day alt country folks like The Jayhawks. - www.notlame.com

"Review in Americana UK"

Kurt Hagardorn "Ten Singles" (Bladen County Records, 2007)

A likeable and varied set but unlikely to set the world afire

Kurt Hagardorn, sometime guitar player with Thad Cockrell and Caitlin Cary, has produced an album that is full of easy listening, pleasant songs that cover a variety of styles but is unfortunately never likely to quite set the world on fire. There’s no doubting the quality of his work – whether it’s the lilting country of ‘Yesterday And Tomorrow’, the dreamy, shuffling folk of the accordion led ‘Please Make It Last’, the Byrds-like ‘You Never Know’, Beatle-esque ‘Rock Scissors Paper’ or, the grand psyche-pop of ‘Last Time Rewind’ with its fuzz bass, searing organ and overdriven guitars – but, while the songs drift by with a certain undeniable charm, there’s little that really manages to grab and hold your attention.

The latter two of these tracks (along with ‘Leanne’ - a brooding, swarm of jangling guitars) were mixed by Chris Stamey of The dB’s fame and stand out, loaded as they are with an abundance of said band’s trademark skewed pop sensibilities – very 80’s and very good.

I prefer to think that the title refers to the individuality and succinctness of each of the tracks included here because, if it is meant to suggest that any/all of the tracks could be released as singles (and challenge the charts?) then, it’s hard to view this as anything other than a rather misguided belief. Nevertheless, a record to like rather than dislike and to perhaps think of as a baby brother to The Minus 5’s Gun Album.

Date review added: Sunday, July 08, 2007
Reviewer: Chris Stevens
Reviewers Rating:
Related web link: Artist's 'myspace' page - http://www.americana-uk.com/auk/modules.php?op=modload&name=Reviews&file=index&req=showcontent&id=29

"review in Incindiary Magazine"

Ten songs. Six years. Count ‘em again. Ten songs in six years. That’s six bloody years! Some would call that lazy. I’d say don’t be so hasty. It turns out, this was actually worth waiting for.

You’d expect songs written in different time periods to feel independent of each other, but what I find remarkable is that these all feel part of a piece. Musically, I think Hagardorn’s in complete spiritual devotion to Revolver era Beatles and the entire 1970’s output of Neil Young, but this would probably fit snugly in between your Wilco and Gram Parsons albums. Ten Singles is low tempo country rock all the way, with accordions and pedal steel guitars lying all over the place. There’s an Elliott Smith like atmosphere to the record, albeit an Elliott Smith who opened the curtains and enjoyed the sunshine for a bit. It’s very pleasing indeed.

Calm and peaceful at times, catchy and occasionally punchy in others, Ten Singles contains exactly what it says on the cover, ten short, sharp blasts of wholesome American country tinged pop rock. It should see you through the summer quite nicely. I just hope I don’t have to wait until 2013 for another batch.

Words : Damian Leslie

- www.incindiarymag.com

"Blog review by Peter Blaystock"

originally posted online at:

http://www.nodepression.net/blogs/peter/index.htmlKurt Hagardorn: Somehow I either never met this guy or don't remember him from our respective tenures in the NC Triangle area; seems hard to fathom, since his credits include gigging with Thad Cockrell and Caitlin Cary, two artists whose shows I rarely missed during my four years there. Anyhow, a friend from Portland, Oregon, on the old Yahoo ND board mentioned him a few weeks back -- apparently Hagardorn lives in Portland now -- so I checked out his stuff and, yeah, I can certainly hear how he would've fit in with Cockrell in particular. Relatively minimal stuff, but very nice and easy country-folk melodies on the four tracks he has at his myspace site:
Three of the four tracks there are from his new disc Ten Singles, which came out a couple months ago on Bladen County Records. - No Depression

"In Pursuit of the Perfect Pop Song"

By Doug Janz

It's an interesting concept. Kurt Hagardorn's first solo album is called "Ten Singles", and he recorded it in various places with various musicians over the course of about six years.
"This record's been kind of a long journey," he said. "Mostly I'd just wait until I had a song I thought was good enough to record, and then do it. I didn't have a timeline.
"The record jumps around stylistically-pop and country, some rockin' and some that are more laid back. Over six years, you go through several musical moods."
He chuckled. "This is kind of a best hits of an obscure artist."
The former Johnson Citian, who was know locally as part of Brian and the Nightmares, now lives in Portland Oregon. His post Nightmares-career has been busy. He moved to Chapel Hill NC in 1994 and played guitar with Thad Cockrell and Caitlan Cary and released two independent albums with the group Gumption.
It was during this period he began recording his solo album. It started as a pure solo effort but soon incorporated guest musicians, including Aaron Oliva, Dave Merritt and Jody Maxwell from gumption, and several others in the Portland area. Johnson City native Scott Pleasant contributes guitar on one track.
"The record became something I worked on when I had spare time," Hagardorn said, "When we moved out here to Portland, I had more time and was able to finish the record."
Many of the songs are wistfull, almost melancholy, and there are influences of The Beatles as well as country music (pedal steel).. Hagardorn lists among his musical influences Cockrell, the Kinks, Harry Nilsson, The Beatles, Buck Owens, The Flaming Lips, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard.
Hagardorn said he grew up under the spell of his mother's record collection, which was filled with work by many of those artists. The family's move from New Orleans to Johnson City introduced him to artists like Doc Watson and New Grass Revival, and the music of Brian and the Nightmares "always had a little country and rockabilly in it," Hagardorn said.
Most of "Ten Singles" was mixed at EKS Sound, Keith Smith's studio in Johnson City.
"Keith is a Johnson City treasure," Hagardorn said. "he does everything to foster music there-recording, he'll run sound, he'll do all kinds of things."
Nightmare fans will find the new Hagardorn sound focuses more on singing rather than loud guitar. He's seeking "the perfect pop song," he said. "And part of the reason I called it "Ten Singles" is that I wanted each song to be a different entity. I kind of pretend like it's 10 45 records."
As for the Nightmares themselves, the band has done a pair of reunions over the last few years, both drawing big crowds in Johnson City. While future encore performances aren't in the works, the group did come away with fond memories.
"It's amazing how easy it's been to do those Nightmare songs when we get back together," he said. "We played them 200 nights a year, and when we go to rehearse reunions, if I didn't think about it at all, I could play all those songs off the top of my head.
"It was so much fun. I love living in Portland and there are some great musicians here, but I love coming back to Johnson City to play. I want to thank everyone in Johnson City and East Tennesee for listening to my music, and being the best people. I miss everyone."
For more on Hagardorn's music, or to buy the album, visit www.myspace.com/hagardorn. He said anyone who orders his album can also have some old Nightmares tunes if they request them.
- Johnson City Press Chronicle, 3/30/2007

"Ten Singles Review"

Review: Kurt Hagardorn's "Ten Singles"
I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Kurt Hagardorn's new CD, titled "Ten Singles" when he came up to play the powerpop night at Mars Bars about six weeks ago. I'm only now getting around to doing a review. But, I'd recommend you not be so lax about picking up a copy, because it's a really solid release.

Kurt assembled this album over the course of about eight years, primarily recording whenever inspiration and time would allow. Usually when you pick up an album it reflects a small portion of an artists mindset -- typically a year or so of their songwriting life. The interesting thing here is we get insight into Kurt over a longer period of time.

The results are pretty wide in terms of genre and production value. But, rather than coming across as uneven or inconsistent, it plays as interesting and varied. The perfect example of this is the transition from song one to song two on the disc. The opener, titled "International Travel Advisory" has a Beatles-march feel with a slab of Elephant 6 on the side. Kurt somehow manages to have this song lead comfortably into "You Are My Girl," replete with pedal steel opening and laid back Bakersfield vibe.

And there you have it, a mix of indie/powerpop and alt.country. Of course, this reflects Kurt's own background, having spent time in both of those worlds (he was in Chapel Hill band Gumption and played guitar for Thad Cockrell).

Of course my favorite tunes are the ones that fall down on the powerpop side of the fence, and songs like "Rock Scissors Paper," "Leanne," and "Last Time Rewind" all fulfill my harmony jones quite well. Interestingly, if you visit Kurt's myspace page, you only hear the quieter, more acoustic side of what he's doing (including a cover of Harry Nilsson's "lifeline."). I'm not sure why none of the more rockin' tunes are represented there.

But, the disc is out now on Bladen County Records, who have some other interesting artists like Montauk Ghosts that are worth hearing.

Blogger's update: You can hear Kurt's more powerpoppin' side by vising the CD Baby site that has the disc for sale. Not sure why I didn't think of that before!!

Labels: Kurt Hagardorn

posted by Seattle-Powerpop @ 10:44 AM - Seattle Powerpop Blog

"Absolute Powerpop Blog"

Kurt Hagardorn-Ten Singles. Hagardorn played for Thad Cockrell and Caitlin Cary, so you know that gives him a leg up in my book. Our friends at the Seattle Powerpop blog put it best: "Chock full of tunesmithy goodness, he's got this great roots pop thing happening that seems equally influenced by the Beatles, the Everly Brothers and some of the modern-day alt country folks like The Jayhawks (with perhaps a bit of 90's indie pop a la Portastatic thrown in for good measure)!" Kool Kat | CD Baby | MySpace
- http://absolutepowerpop.blogspot.com/

"Review from WERS in Boston"

To see original article go to: http://www.wers.org/daytime/events/?id=365

WERS New Music Forecast: Kurt Hagardorn

Warbling pedal steel guitar + optimism + mandolins and accordions= inventive Americana music at its best. Singer/songwriter Kurt Hagardorn dusts the dirt off his cowboy boots and emerges as a poised solo artist on his first-full length album Ten Singles. Hagardorn now calls Portland, Oregon home, but spent most of his life in the South, growing up in East Tennessee and starting the band Brian and the Nightmares. Hagardorn was also a member of an upbeat North Carolina indie band Gumption and a guitarist for two musicians before embarking on a solo career.

While you may know little about the West Coast musician, the songs on Hagardorn’s MySpace page say it all. “Yesterday and Tomorrow” is a hopeful song that helps coax those worries that float through your mind. In the middle of the song he sings, “It’s no use wondering what the future will bring me/ Yesterday’s over and tomorrow’s never begun."

Messages of hope are also found on the twangy “You Are My Girl,” where he proclaims his love for that special someone, singing “How I wish that you and I could slow down the world/ But it’s alright/ Come what may come/ You are my girl.”

Hagardorn may have not made his mark in New England yet, but with songs that emulate The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Neil Young, he just might be on his way to capturing the listeners of WERS. Let’s remain optimistic.


-Amy Farnsworth

- WERS fm Boston 88.9


Kurt Hagardorn Discography
Kurt Hagardorn: Ten Singles, released december 2006 on Bladen County Records. Listen at www.myspace.com/kurthagardorn
Brian and the Nightmares (self titled debut) 1987
Brian and the Nightmares: Lizards, 1989
Mike and Ike: Shocks and Struts, New Hillbilly Records, 1992
Gumption: Don't Screw up single, Spongebath records, 1995
Gumption: Ultramaroon, Seriously Records 1998
Montauk Ghost: guest guitarist on debut record released 2006 on Bladen County Records, see www. montaukghost.com



Kurt Hagardorn
Ten Singles
Bladen County Records 002
RIYL: Kinks, Beach Boys, CCR

Like most kids growing up in the seventies, KURT HAGARDORN watched Saturday morning cartoons. In his house the difference is what came after. “Every Saturday my mother would put on a record really loud and clean the house. She vacuumed to Neil Young and Crazy Horse, and dusted to Lou Reed’s Rock and Roll Animal, “says Kurt, whose pop songs draw their inspiration from those perfect records from the 60’s and 70’s, listened to over and over again growing up in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Later, as a teenager in East Tennessee, Kurt formed Brian and the Nightmares, whose devastating live shows and well written country rock careened around the South and Midwest from 1985 to 1990, selling thousands of records from the foot of the stage.

In 1994 Kurt moved to Chapel Hill North Carolina, releasing two records with the critically acclaimed indiepop group Gumption, as well as touring as a guitarist for country artists Thad Cockrell and Caitlan Cary.

In between shows with Cockrell, Kurt gradually began recording a solo record, with a simple philosophy in mind. “The Song is King”, says Kurt “I only recorded when I knew I had a great song”. Recorded between 2000 and 2006 in North Carolina and Portland Oregon, TEN SINGLES is a seamless hybrid of Beatlesque Pop, Classic Country and Indiepop, stylistically varied and lovingly produced.

TEN SINGLES was released in February 2007 on Portland based label Bladen County Records. (www.bladencountyrecords.com)

Kurt's new album "Leaves" is due for release in late 2009. Kurt resides in Portland Oregon with his wife Amy and son Milo.
He is pleased to be making music in the Rose City.