HARDY’s rock-country amalgamation The Mockingbird & THE CROW crowned three Billboard charts — Top Rock & Alternative Albums, Top Rock Albums and Top Hard Rock Albums — upon its release, solidifying the singer-songwriter as a genre-fluid purveyor at a time when country and rock are evermore intertwined.
But back in 2019, HARDY was already mixing things up with his collaborative Hixtape Vol. 1, which featured work with nearly 20 singer-songwriters, including Keith Urban, Cole Swindell, Morgan Wallen and Lauren Alaina. A second iteration, Hixtape, Vol. 2, followed in 2021, with collabs with Midland, Jimmie Allen, Marty Stuart and more.
HARDY recently spoke about the future of his Hixtapes, telling Billboard he envisions releasing a new Hixtape every few years. He also has some definite possibilities in how his Hixtapes could evolve.
“I hope it’s gonna be around forever,” the Mississippi native says, adding that he could see a “Chickstape,” featuring only female collaborators, at some point. “It’s not a real thing yet, but there might be an all-female Hixtape one day.”
He says another iteration of the Hixtape could nod to The Mockingbird & THE CROW.
“I could see doing a rock Hixtape, where I could write a bunch of redneck, ‘He Went to Jared’ type of songs and get rock guys to sing on it.”
He also has a bucket list of artists in mind, including Three Doors Down singer and fellow Mississippi native Brad Arnold.
“I would also love [Caleb] Shomo from Beartooth, or somebody like [ZZ Top’s] Billy Gibbons would be dope. Guys who ride the line of Southern rock and what we do. I think it would be a cool concept,” HARDY says.
In the meantime, the reigning ACM songwriter of the year will launch his The Mockingbird & The Crow tour on Feb. 16, starting in Indianapolis, Ind. The trek will welcome openers Jameson Rodgers as well as HARDY’s Big Loud labelmates, rock band Blame My Youth.
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