The Hard Way (Owsley album)

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The Hard Way
Owsley hardway.jpg
Studio album by Owsley
Released February 24, 2004 (2004-02-24)
Recorded 2001–2003
Circa (studio)
The Outhouse (Nashville, TN)
The Sound Kitchen (Nashville, TN)
The Bennett House (Nashville, TN)
Emerald Tracking Room (Nashville, TN)
Genre Rock, power pop
Length 47:34
Label Lakeview
Producer Owsley
Keith Thomas
Scot McCracken (executive)
Owsley chronology
The Hard Way
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic - 4/5 stars[1]

The Hard Way is the second and final studio album released by American rock musician Owsley.

It was released in 2004 on the independent Lakeview label, five years after his debut album. Some of the delay was attributed to legal difficulties with his former label, Giant Records.[2]

Critics have described the album as having a "heavier"[3] and "more mature" sound compared to his debut album, and note musical influences of Big Star, Todd Rundgren, Tom Petty and Paul McCartney and Wings.[4] Critic Susanne Ault of Billboard wrote, "The music straddles indie and pop sensibilities without ever stepping one foot clearly onto one side or the other. While The Hard Way rolls along competently, the midtempo guitar hooks and straightahead vocals lack the necessary punch to reach mainstream consciousness."[5]

The album was recorded over the span of three years, at different studios in Tennessee, as well as at his home recording studio in Anniston, Alabama.[3] As recording formats and equipment, Owsley used a Studer 16-track 2" at 15 ips, an MCI 16-track 2" at 30 ips, the Otari Radar II multitrack hard disk recorder, and Pro Tools.

The lead single is "Be with You".[6]

Track listing[edit]

The Hard Way
No. Title Length
1. "Be with You" (William Reese Owsley III, Dill O'Brien, Keith Thomas) 4:37
2. "Rise" (Owsley, O'Brien) 5:22
3. "She's the One" (Owsley, Trevor Morgan) 3:55
4. "Dude" (Owsley, Gordon Kennedy) 3:41
5. "Down" (Owsley) 3:25
6. "Matriarch" (Owsley) 3:56
7. "Undone" (Owsley, Kennedy) 3:26
8. "The Hard Way" (Owsley, James Michael, Simon Petty) 4:07
9. "Dirty Bird" (Owsley) 3:46
10. "Rainy Day People" (Owsley, Morgan) 5:31
11. "Band on the Run" (hidden at 6:00 of Rainy Day People;[7] Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney) 5:13
Total length: 47:34


Additional musicians
  • Tom Bukovac – electric guitar (on track 1), acoustic guitar (on track 1), bass (on track 2)
  • Gordon Kennedy – electric guitar (on track 7), background vocals (on track 7)
  • Jimmie Lee Sloas – bass (on tracks 1, 7)
  • Michael Rhodes – bass (on tracks 3, 9, 10)
  • Millard Powers – bass (on track 4)
  • Rebecca Walker – backing vocals (on track 10)
  • Simon Petty – harmonica (on track 8)
  • James Michael – vocal production (on track 8)


  1. ^ Allmusic - review
  2. ^ Bumgardner, Ed (2004-07-22). "Owsley: The Hard Way". Winston-Salem Journal. p. 9. 
  3. ^ a b Young, Clive (June 2004). "Owsley Records the 'Hard Way'". Pro Sound News. New York: United Entertainment Media. 26 (06): 25. ISSN 0164-6338. 
  4. ^ Printz, Larry (2004-03-20). "Owsley 'The Hard Way'". The Morning Call. p. D6. 
  5. ^ Ault, Susanne (2004-03-06). "Owsley: The Hard Way". Billboard. p. 35. 
  6. ^ Harris, David L (2004-03-12). "Owsley: The Hard Way". Boston Globe. p. C13. 
  7. ^ Owsley: The Hard Way - PopMatters Music Review