Kurt Hagardorn Presents New Album ‘An Analog Man In A Digital World’

If judged by the title of his album, Kurt Hagardorn may sometimes feel like an out-of-time, technologically challenged individual. However, when in comes to creating enjoyably memorable rock & roll, the man consistently hits that rock & roll sweet spot again and again with his winning release, An Analog Man In A Digital World.

The album’s title line comes from the release’s opening track, “Tractor Beam.” It’s an old school electric guitar riff, which incorporates futuristic-sounding keyboards that actually sound old school (as in vintage Eighties sounds) — only less old school than the guitar part. The track also includes some wonderful bass-y guitar sounds on it. In a word, it’s irresistible.


While Hagardorn plays the role of the straight ahead, meat and potatoes rocker in many places here, he breaks character during “Natural Fact.” This one rock and rolls to a New Orleans groove. In addition to its guitar, bass and drums, the track also incorporates a horn section and Big Easy piano stylings. Then on “Wiggle In My Soul,” Hagardorn reaches all the way back to Chuck Berry for its electric guitar rhythm. It’s not complicated. It just feels so good. With “Tina! Tina!,” Hagardorn revs up the volume and beat significantly for a song that brings to mind Dave Edmunds, Nick Lowe and their short-lived group, Rockpile. It’s rock and roll as it’s meant to be played. “Evangeline Hop” also has a bit of New Orleans running through it. Instead of guitar, though, this one kicks off with tribal drumming and acoustic piano. Once again, Hagardom isn’t inventing anything new. Instead, he’s taking what is tried and true, and putting his fingerprint on it. He sounds great, no matter what style he applies to his songs.

Although “High in the Shadows” eventually rolls to an electric guitar riff, it begins first with acoustic guitar and piano. It has the feel of ‘70s rock & roll, made popular by guys like Warren Zevon and Jackson Browne. He closes his album with “Hard Black Train,” which brings the horn section back for a bluesy rocker. It’s taken at a relatively leisurely pace and is about a guy that just wants to get back home.


Sometimes one hears albums that sound difficult and labored, as though the creation of it was all work, no play. One feels the absolute opposite when listening to Kurt Hagardorn’s An Analog Man In A Digital World. In his case, it just sounds as natural as rain. As though creating songs just comes naturally and easily. Now, if he actually had to work really hard at making this recording, well, he’s certainly got us all fooled. That’s difficult to imagine. And in all honesty, the analog world was a much better place to be in. It was certainly an economically better world for musicians, as they could often make a good living recording music. This is an album so easy to love – even after the first listen. No need to wait even a minute to let it grow on you. It’ll hit you smack dab in the feels from the get-go.

-Dan MacIntosh