Singer-songwriter Sus Long met bass and banjo player Michael Conner in 2013 and they kept talking because they liked the same books. The two started meeting up to play Ramones covers and bluegrass standards, eventually forming a songwriting partnership that draws on folk and jazz, country and blues, blending the best of two very different musical tastes. The friends kept making friends with musical friends and this folk-rock band has grown to include guitarist Danny Nowell, singer Alex Treyz, and drummer Dave Berka.Long has been writing and recording music for a decade, drawing influence from the lyrical dexterity of Patty Griffin, the musical arrangements of Sufjan Stevens, and the vocal originality of artists like Billie Holiday and Freddie Mercury. As a songwriter, Long's subject matter is informed by novels and poems, morning news, late-night theology, and the stories of the people around her. Hardworker’s live shows feature Conner’s funk and punk influences, Nowell’s affinity for rock and classic country, Berka’s jazz-drumming background, and Treyz’s Gospel choir training—once described as a “folk-rock rollick” by the IndyWeek.
Hardworker's first EP, The Awful Rowing, is a collection of five songs written by Long and recorded with Conner and Treyz in Greensboro at the studio of David Wimbish (The Collection). The song “Darkroom Lullaby” received an honorable mention in American Songwriter’s May/June 2015 issue.