Live at the Larimer

The Arts Council of Greater Palatka is excited to announce a very special concert and gallery opening combination for February.  The concert will be a CD Debut of Chuck Hardwicke and Friends’ newest recording “Good Friends and Cracker Tales”, with fabulous cowboy art by artist Eldon Lux from South Florida.  The story that connects Chuck and Eldon is one of cowboy life.  We hope you will join us on Friday, February 15, 2019 at the Larimer Arts Center located at 216 Reid Street, Palatka for both fantastic music and art.  The Gallery opening is free to the public and runs from 5:30 to 7:00pm. The concert begins at 7:00pm to 9:00 with a suggested donation of $5.00 to benefit Arts Council programs.  Refreshments will be served.  


Come experience this unique Gallery Opening and CD Debut Party the likes of which were brought together by the very elements that shaped Florida…Time and Mother Nature. Hear the music and tales of Florida, the Cracker, and long Friendships. View the art that brings these stories to life.

            Chuck said he met Eldon Lux and his wife Lynn in the early 1990’s at the Florida Folk Festival where his artwork was being featured. “His accuracy and knowledge of the Florida Cow Culture was quite apparent. We struck up a friendship that has lasted ’til this day.” Says Hardwicke. “In 1995, Larry Ellis approached me about entertaining on something called ‘The Great Cattle Drive of 1995’. I agreed to sing one night but when I arrived and saw what a huge operation it was, I stayed on for several nights. That is where I met Eldon and Lynn again, as they were part of the cattle crew. We have been on every reunion cattle drive together since then.”

            It was on those cattle drives and around those nightly campfires where the seeds for many of Chuck’s songs started to grow. Listening to the stories and the tales from the cow hunters and old timers who were part of Florida’s history was the best food for thought that a songwriter could get.

            The majority of the songs lay unfinished and incomplete until Hurricane Irma hit us in 1997. Not having electric for eight days, Chuck dug these songs out and with the help of ‘The Hart Line’ finished them.

          When asked how the project came together Chuck states, “A couple of the songs reflect the life and history of South Florida so I called ‘The South Florida Friends’, a band that I had recorded previous CD’s with and asked if they would be interested in taking part in this project, they all agreed. That is why I decided to title this project “Good Friends and Cracker Tales”. Then I asked my good friend Eldon Lux if he would give his permission to photograph his paintings to be used on the cover and back of the CD. Yet, as this project started to come together, I realized a few of the songs that ‘The Hart Line’ had been doing for years were never recorded. So we have included them as well. Together with ‘The Hart Line’ and ‘The South Florida Friends’ and special guest star Lloyd Baldwin on fiddle and banjo we recorded live ‘Good Friends and Cracker Tales’ at Eclipse Studio in St Augustine with Jim Stafford as our engineer. I think this might be my finest project to date. However, I cannot take all the credit. If it had not been for the talent of “The Hart Line” (Dean Parrish, Karan Newman, and Bill Snyder), “The South Florida Friends” (Ron Litschauer, Bari Litschauer and Stan Geberer) including Lloyd Baldwin it would be just another Florida CD.”


 Eldon Lux

Born in 1950 and raised around the ranching country of the Nebraska Sandhills, Eldon grew up
with “Cow Blood in His Veins”.  For several years, Eldon ranched and raised registered Brangus
cattle in Southern Missouri and currently raises registered Quarter Horses.  Eldon is recognized by his peers for both his eye for a good horse or cow as well as his knowledge of the land.

Eldon graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1972 with a B.S. degree in Animal Science
and while in college became interested in art.

Much of his success in the art world Eldon attributes to his college training in livestock
selection and evaluation. Lux says, “R.B. Warren, my livestock judging coach, taught me how to train and focus my eye on proportions, balance, and symmetry.”  Another influence was a second cousin, Gladys Lux, former head of the art department at Nebraska Wesleyan University,
Lincoln, NE.  “Gladys taught me to create from the soul, to create from what you are and what
you see.”

Eldon says his inspiration comes from the day-to-day activities and scenes that surround him.  “I enjoy incorporating the beauty of local surroundings and nature in my work.  Real people, ordinary cowboys, ranchers, and neighbors are wonderful subject matter.”

For the past several years, Eldon has been busy with his art, freelancing and painting
commissions.  He has done several large murals in various businesses in central and south
Florida.  He has also had the opportunity to do some work with Walt Disney Imagineering,
doing character facades in plaster.  He has worked for Walt Disney World in Orlando, Disney
California Adventure, and Tokyo Disney Seas in Japan.

Eldon’s art is in private collections throughout the United States and in several foreign
countries.  He is also a charter member of CAAF (Cowboy Artist Association of Florida).

Eldon Lux and his wife, Lynn currently reside in the heart of Florida’s cow country in South
Osceola County.

The Arts Council of Greater Palatka’s” Live at the Larimer” is supported in part by memberships, the Putnam County Tourist Development Council, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. For more information call 386-328-8998 or visit

The Arts Council is the Local Designated Arts Agency for Putnam County and is a 501-C3 non-profit organization. Visit

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216 Reid Street
Palatka, Florida
(386) 328-8998

Arts Council of Greater Palatka
P.O. Box 936
Palatka, FL 32178