Guitarist, singer and songwriter Tre Hardiman, born in Mississippi and raised in Chicago, is one of the young lions of the Chicago blues scene. Although not widely known outside of the Windy City, Hardiman's debut, Tre, Delivered for Glory, on the London-based JSP Records, should help him to find audiences in Europe and around the U.S. Released in 1995, Hardiman's debut showcases his fiery guitar playing, power-packed vocals and crafty songwriting.
The 30-something Hardiman has been a figure on the Windy City's South Side blues scene for years, playing that neighborhood's clubs and carving out a niche for himself. He began playing rock and R&B and worked his way back to the original music, taking his cues from his father's friends, including major figures like Howlin' Wolf and Jimmy Reed. Hardiman's father, L.V. Banks, was locally famous, and after Hardiman graduated from high school, he met up with his father again in the mid-1970s in a South Side club.
Hardiman began playing drums at age nine and switched to guitar when he was 12. Hardiman played in garage rock bands as a teenager and didn't pick up on blues until later; his first blues show was in 1974, opening for Crip Heard at the Grand Ballroom. Beginning in 1981, he played behind his father at a South Side blues club and continued doing so until 1987, when he formed his own band.
As a developing blues guitarist and singer, Hardiman took his cues from his father, but also from Albert King, B.B. King, Tyrone Davis, Junior Parker, Jimmy Reed and Bobby Bland. The ever-resourceful Hardiman has owned his own recording studio since the early 1990s, and he released several recordings of his music on his own record labels. Although he's not known for playing his own compositions at his live shows, Hardiman does showcase his original compositions on his own albums. The most widely available album is his 1995 release for JSP, Delivered for Glory.
Hardiman and band can be found playing weekly around various Chicago clubs, including the North Side's Kingston Mines, as well as South Side venues like the Checkerboard Lounge.