Formed in 2004 and still going strong almost two decades later, The Hardways play at numerous venues around the valley, including dive bars, clubs, biker rallies, rodeos, festivals, and benefits across the southwest.
The Hardways have played live music with icons such as Bob Wayne, Joe Buck, and cult classic Bob Logg. They are currently working on their fifth album, after classics such as “Dealer’s Choice,” “I-10 Blues,” “Crazy Miles,” and “Whittle it Away.” Their albums are in current rotation in Columbia, Brazil, Canada, and China, as well as on college radio stations in AZ, NM, and CO.
The Hardways have a sound that has been described as “hard-livin’ ramblin-gamblin music, a sort of Patsy Cline meets Motorhead in a desert roadside dive.”
Lead Vocals/Guitar/Banjo/Bass: Riding in on her trusty dust devil comes lead vocalist/songwriter, banjo picking/rhythm guitar player Gingher Leyendecker. Gingher was born in Phoenix but grew up in the desert border town of Las Cruces, New Mexico. She helped found The Hardways in 2004. Gingher is heavily influenced by the early Americana sounds but enjoys a wide-range of music. While music is a huge part of her life, she is also a college art professor, and an advanced paraglider pilot and president of the Arizona Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association. It is through a rich multitude of experiences, mixed with a colorful upbringing and the ability to "never let the truth get in the way of a good story," that has allowed her to write so many of The Hardways songs.
Guitar/Vocals/Harmonica: From out of the red clay and across the Oklahoma fields comes a guitar slinger out of Tulsa. Raised by a woman on the run, lead guitarist Daniel Bain of The Hardways spent his misspent youth in bars and desert tumbleweed breezes. Moving to the heat of Arizona around the age of 11, his educational classrooms garnered the ABC's and 123's in abandoned buses and pool halls. An upbringing that created the only guitarist brash enough to join The Hardways in 2010 (Daniel was formerly in the band Dirty Dan and the Distributors 2007-2010) and his life hence has been the exact chord needed.
Drums: Nate has been playing drums for over 25 years now. His motto is, “I just want to bang on the drums all day!” The drummer of a band could really be said to be the bus driver on stage, as each count keeps the sound collectively driven. Nate has been with The Hardways since 2011. According to Nate, “Collectively each band mate contributes to the writing of tunes for The Hardways, and at times I guess you can say I am the band member who is the bullfighter on acid.” When Nate isn't busy having fun with his band mates and fans of The Hardways, he can be found training school district's bus mechanics and working with them on new products, as well as failure analysis on new schools buses. Nate was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ. Outside of busses and band playing, you can find him swimming in shark infested chum water.
Bass/Guitar: Chris Lykins came into this world during his dad's Air Force days while he was stationed at Davis Monthan in Tucson, AZ. He attended the University of Arizona for his undergraduate degree and then went on to Yale University for medical school. In between those two degrees Chris was the lead guitarist in a thrash metal band called, Atrophy. Touring heavily in Europe during that time, Chris took his medical school admission test in Paris and was accepted. While he was in medical school he kind of got “burned out” on guitar and began taking Jazz bass lessons, and fell in love with the instrument. Besides music, you can find Chris involved with his other passions: skiing, SCUBA and books. To sum up Chris's take on life, you would find him quoting this movie line from Tyler Durden in Fight Club, "sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken." We are so glad Chris decided music and medicine were a better fit!
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