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Roy C's Passing Recalls Hardway's Homage
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Love Connection. A Place Called Love Land. Love Is the Future. The Best of Westside Connection [Clean]. The Best of Westside Connection. Likwit Connection. Dangerously in Love 2.
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In fact, the place is the Clinton Inn, where the musicians, an eight-member ensemble called the Hardway Connection, have been performing three sets of old and new soul and blues once a week, with no cover charge, since September of last year. But in the past six months, Hardway has sold some 60, copies of its first nationally distributed album, It Must Be Love—which includes more original songs than covers—and found audiences on independent and public radio in places like Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. For years, the members of Hardway enjoyed themselves onstage but without musical focus or a clear sense of which audience to target; the members simply entertained their core following while trying to make some extra cash. Under the moniker Renewed Spirit, the group released a single, and from to , it performed under that name at gospel shows rather than in nightclubs. Now this group of listeners is getting behind Hardway. The band members continue to hold day jobs, but the tempting out-of-town concert offers and entreaties from record companies are starting to come in, and could someday soon change their lifestyles dramatically. Both on- and offstage, Owens maintains the disposition of a reserved Southern gentleman, a calm manner that belies his intense love of performing.