A Conversation with Local Musician Brandon Hardesty
Without doubt, Brandon Hardesty – front man of the Bumpin Uglies (Ska, Punk, Reggae) – is an Annapolis son, a title he proudly proclaims from every stage he steps on, whether at CaliRoots in California, on the Rombello Cruise, at SXSW in Austin, as part of the Warped tour, or when traveling nationally from club to club. Although he comes from a long line of successful local business owners, Brandon prefers to be known as his own man, creatively following his dreams and chasing his destiny while working diligently. As a result, he’s built a large catalogue of original music.
Recently, I had an opportunity to sit down and talk with Brandon in his “famous kitchen”, where he likes to live-stream and connect with fans and followers. He shared with me how he got his start in music, what it means to him now, where the Annapolis music scene can be found, and more.
Where did you come from? What brought you to this point?
I was born and raised in Annapolis. My mom always had me around music as a kid so I learned to appreciate it at an early age. When I was in high school my mom insisted that I joined the marching band despite the fact that I didn’t know how to play an instrument. She thought it would be good for my character. She was right. I started playing guitar at 17 and wrote my first song shortly after. Started gigging at 21 and never looked back
How would you describe the downtown Annapolis music scene to visitors; what should they not miss?
It’s very eclectic. I would encourage people to go to Metropolitan and check out whatever they have going on that night, pop down to 49 West for some coffee and another show, and check out one of the shows going on in a local bar like Middleton Tavern or Stan & Joes. All these spots will have different styles of music and they’ll all be done well.
What do you take from music? What does it give you?.
It gives me a much-needed outlet and a sense of purpose. What I take from it depends on the day. Sometimes it’s a source of comfort and a purveyor of ambiance. Other times it’s where I find focus and the drive needed to make it through the day’s tasks. A lot of times it’s a source of frustration and inadequacy.
What is “the perfect gig?” Where? Who would be there with you?
The perfect gig is any gig where I’m playing songs that I wrote to a good crowd of people who appreciate them.
What do you hope to be known or remembered for?
My songwriting and lyrics–and my work ethic.
Naptownmusic is an independent collective that celebrates the live music renaissance of Annapolis through daily music calendars, reviews, interviews, video and photography. You can find them at: Naptownmusic.us, Facebook,
Photos courtesy of Brandon Hardesty