Indie Band Hearty Har Following Their Own Musical Path

Sons of Famed Rocker John Fogerty Enjoy Playing CCR Songs & Opening For Their Father

Jeff Walker,  Entertainment Writer

Many children follow in their parents footsteps, especially if the parents are professionals. It's not uncommon for sons and daughters of doctors or lawyers to pursue the same career path, or for children to take over a family business. Although, when your father or mother are more high profile, often expectations run higher.

Shane and Tyler Fogerty realize their dad John is a rock n' roll legend, having been the chief architect behind Hall of Fame band Creedence Clearwater Revival however, the brothers both in their early 30's and the front-men for the indie rock band Hearty Har agree they were never pressured to become musicians. aaaaaaaafogerty4

Nevertheless, both admit they were exposed to music at an early age. "I was pretty young when I kind of started. My dad had me take piano lessons when I was 8 or 9. But I didn't really love it, so I didn't stick with it. At that age I was more into skateboarding", says Shane. He adds, "By the time I turned 12 I began to look at it different, and leaned toward the guitar."

Tyler followed suit. "It was around age 11 when I started to pay attention to music, more so from a musician standpoint. I'm a year younger than Shane, so it kind of hit us at the same time. I had friends in school who were more serious about music so I feel that encouraged me even more."

While they were getting more interested and investing more time learning their new instruments, Shane said dad gave them more than enough leeway. "For the most part, he was hands off. He wanted us to find our own way, much like he did." That didn't mean dad didn't offer advice. "He's always been very supportive."

That's how Tyler remembers it. "Absolutely. We could come to him if anytime. If we needed help with chords or if we wanted to know more about different kinds of guitars. I think he's always taken a small bit of pride that he can impart his knowledge to us, and even more so that we took to playing guitars."

After college the boys started their own band in 2012. According to their website Hearty Har is a blend of modern psychedelia with a classic garage rock and roll vibe. While that might be several of the undertones in the band, they explain it's not the heart and soul.

"Those elements might always be the core, but it's not the totality of our music. We like to keep it open." says Tyler. Shane agrees, "We're constantly evolving. Tyler and I are inspired by new music, old music, and so many genres of music. It's hard to put a label on what we do, and it's the same way with the other members of the band."

Including Shane and Tyler, Hearty Har is a six member unit, with the brothers backed by Jesse Wilson (bass), Richard Millsap (drums), Nick Stratton (guitar), Douglas Lamothe (keyboards). According to Shane, a few of the guys jammed early on. "We actually had a band back in high school. We were called Stream Train Mary. We had a bass player who wrote songs, and we were creative."

Coming up with an original name such as Hearty Har was all Shane's idea as well. "That was me. I didn't want to be known as something lame, like The Fences, or The Green Avocados. The name just came to me. I wasn't searching for something radical, just something that kind of fit who we are."

While the meaning 'hearty har' denotes sarcastic laughter, Shane feels the band has put a different spin on the definition. "As far as the meaning, I think we flipped it on its head."

The Fogerty brothers have discovered the recording industry isn't easy. "We had a record deal with BMG, and they're a pretty big label. Then the pandemic hit. Everyone got fired. They gave the band no support. They did the same with my dad." says Shane. To make matters worse, "They were suppose to make our album into LP's, and they ended up delivering CD's. There's this whole push for LP's because they're making a comeback, and have for quite some time."

Tyler admitted there was a silver lining to the pandemic. "It gave us a lot of time to record and continue to make new music. We kind of took back control of our destiny."

Despite receiving little help from their former record label, the brothers were able to promote their album 'Radio Astro' through their website and various online streaming services. During the overall process Shane says he and Tyler gained appreciation for several aspects of the industry because they produced the album themselves. "We learned as we went along. Learned how to be producers and engineers. We're happy with the album, not only because they're our songs, but we got to make the album the way we wanted too." aaaaaaaafogerty2

Two tracks from the album that showcase their various influences include 'Radio Man '56' and 'Boogie Man', proving Shane and Tyler have a wide range of interests and musical stylings. 'Children of Tomorrow' is their latest release and can be downloaded through Spotify, Soundcloud, and Apple Music formats.

Unfortunately and more so financially, Tyler says they prefer to record and promote their music online more so than touring recently. "We love playing live, but shows just don't pay enough. It's hard to go out on the road and come back with very little to show for it." His reasoning, "I guess because we're still relatively unknown, it's hard to get good shows."

The brothers and the band may span their reach as they pull double duty during the summer of 2024, in support of their dad and fellow legendary rocker George Thorogood.

Tyler says, opening for John Fogerty in Hearty Har and then returning as their father's backup musicians comes with its shares of ups and downs. "It's great. Our dad's music is legendary. To be able to share the stage with him and help bring the songs of CCR to appreciative fans is un-describable." Another upside. "The one thing that's really awesome is having the same crew. It's like being on the road with extended family. Even our mom is out there."

As far as the actual show he adds, "I guess the downside is the audience is older. They don't necessarily know who we (Hearty Har) are. Our music can be shocking and some in the crowd often have that glazed over their eyes look. But I still think we're a good fit." Tyler prefers to look to the positive. "Opening for him does allow the band greater exposure. So that's a plus."

Just in his mid 20's at the time, Shane was the first to take part in his father's band. "I joined in 2014. I went to school for music. Initially I felt joining his band would be good for development." Eventually Tyler followed Shane's lead, but wasn't as enthused. "I was a bit hesitant. It's not my path. But in the bigger picture it's great that Shane and I can take part in our father's legacy." Both agree performing alongside their dad has afforded them a wealth of experience.

Ironically in the twisted business side of music, John Fogerty the songwriter behind rock classics such as 'Proud Mary', 'Down on the Corner', 'Fortunate Son', 'Bad Moon Rising', 'Up Around the Bend', 'Green River', and 'Have You Ever Seen the Rain? just regained control of the publishing rights to the historic CCR catalog last year, shelling out an undisclosed amount for that privilege. Fogerty's battle lasted over 50 years. aaaaaaaafogerty5

Shane admits his father never imagined the struggle would take that long, accepting at some point if it would ever take place at all. "For sure. It's something he didn't think would ever come back around to him, but he never gave up the fight." John who had a successful solo career retained rights to his solo catalog which includes 'Centerfield', 'Rockin’ All Over the World', 'Almost Saturday Night', and 'The Old Man Down the Road'. 

Low country fans of the legendary singer, and the iconic arsenal of songs of CCR and John Fogerty will have an opportunity to witness Fogerty live, as he brings his 'Celebration Tour' to Charleston playing Credit One Stadium on Tuesday June 4th. Fellow blues rocker George Thorogood & the Destroyers who are celebrating 50 years on the road join Fogerty on his tour, with Hearty Har opening the show.  To discover more on the eclectic sounds of Hearty Har visit their website at