The Folk Brothers

Jack Hardy & David Massengill

[Massengill and Hardy]
David Massengill (left) and Jack Hardy    photo by Brian Rose

When two of America's best songwriters get together the result could be electric, but it is not. It is acoustic. Jack Hardy and David Massengill have known each other since they both moved to New York City in the mid-seventies, Jack from Colorado, David from Tennessee. The Boston Globe has said, "Jack Hardy is one of the most influential figures today in defining the American Folk Song." The same could be said of David Massengill. In this era of pop-driven acoustic music, these two have dual-handedly kept the folk tradition alive in songwriting.

Jack and David have shared many a stage together at clubs and festivals, been members of the weekly songwriters workshop since its inception, and worked on the Fast Folk Magazine together. They have traveled together, boulevardiered together, played softball together, had the occasional adult beverage together. And now they are forming a duo: The Folk Brothers. Move over Simon and Garfunkel and Don and Phil.

David brings the experience of six albums, nine bootlegs and nine books to the mix. Jack brings the experience of fifteen albums and eight plays to the mix. David's songs have been covered by such artists as Joan Baez, Dave Van Ronk, The Roches and Charlie King whereas Jack's songs have been covered by such artists as Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen, Lucy Kaplansky and Joel Rafael.

Their choice of material for this project draws from their own greatest hits such as David's "On the Road to Fairfax County," "Rider on an Orphan Train" and "My Name Joe" to Jacks' "Tinkers Coin," "I Ought to Know" and "The Zephyr" to covering songs of their friends such as Dave Van Ronk, Paul Siebel and Utah Philips, as well as covering traditional songs. David plays the mountain dulcimer (Dave Van Ronk said that "Massengill took the *dull* out of dulcimer") as well as guitar. Jack plays guitar as well as mandolin. They are also noted as being great tellers of tales while introducing their songs.

Their first album as a duo, Partners in Crime, was released in July, with transcendent harmonies, and a great mix of history, tradition, politics and irreverence. Rumor has it there is an alternate name for The Folk Brothers: "The Baloney Brothers," but we have been unable to confirm this rumor.

Publicity Photos

Lyrics for Partners in Crime

For more information visit: and