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Happy Hosting, Happy New Year - Rob Ellen
Wow! What a great, earthy, full of gritty blues warmed country folk sound. Canadian Hanson has certainly come up trumps this time around, and though there's only seven songs it is far, far bigger and richer in content than those by many a household name. She really muddies the water, the songs sound like they could have been written in the 1930s, plus comparisons to Mary Gauthier (a little Oh Susanna too) on the terrific “Water’s Edge” pop into my head.
I haven’t been as excited by a piece of music of the ilk for quite some time, and unlikely to sample one better no matter whom I listen to (old or new recordings).
Hanson’s album title isn’t an overstatement of the dark, moody and dangerous road on which the album travels. If it had been made in Louisiana you would instantly think she was down in the swampland, voodoo and New Orleans many mysterious tales of Marie Laveau and like-minded folklore. She has never sounded so good, so sharp, creative and authentic as she bathes in old blues speaks of the “Black Widow”, murder at the shipyard on the brooding “Gravedigger” and the rural confines of the American South as speaks of no hope for redemption (“My Mama Said”), and with her sleeping with one eyed open and a shotgun by her head Hanson takes the listener into the haunting confines of “Cecil Hotel”.
Produced by Lynn Miles (the record includes one or two co-writes with her too) Hanson has Philip Shaw Bova, Tony D, Chris Brown, Keith Glass, Al Wood, Jason Valleau, Giles LeClere, Brian Sanderson, Alison Gowan and Miles too lend stellar support.
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