The full name of the song is Hard Way Every Time, which may be familiar if you were a fan of Jim Croce back in the ’70s. It was included on his final record in 1973, I Got A Name, the sessions for which concluded just a week before he died in a plane crash. Listening to the song now, it seems especially poignant as Croce wasn’t well suited to the music stardom he had achieved through multiple hit songs, and had been planning to retire from the road to stay at home with his wife and son. Hard Way Every Time tells how he always hits his head against the wall learning life lessons, including his last. A letter to his wife informing her of his decision to leave the music business arrived a few days after the crash.
With each new project, Dale Ann finds a song in the pop catalog that deserves a bluegrass treatment, and with her special touch, this one is a gem. Croce’s music was generally acoustic, so it grassifies readily, and Bradley and the band have retained many of Jim’s signature guitar patterns in their recording, a very nice touch.
As always, her voice is spot on, as you can hear in the finished video, shot by Bonfire Recording at the Venue at Falls in Greenville, SC.
The Hard Way is available now wherever you stream or download music online. Radio programmers can find the tracks at AirPlay Direct.