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  • Writer's pictureStevie Connor

Canada’s Own Queen of Americana, Singer-Songwriter Lynne Hanson, Set To Release Tenth Studio Album


Lynne Hanson

Photo Credit: Jen Squires.



Ottawa-based singer-songwriter Lynne Hanson is set to release her 10th studio album, Just A Poet, on May 24, 2024, via Panda Cave Records. The award-winning songwriter has again teamed up with producer Jim Bryson (Kathleen Edwards, Skydiggers), who produced her 2020 release, Just Words, and the result is an album of sounds and songs with a distinctly indie flavour, tied together by well-crafted lyrics and her trademark whiskey-soaked alto. The album shines with clever poetry, wrapped up in tasteful, textured, contemporary production.


“I had a lot of fun self-producing and recording my last album with Blair Michael Hogan,” Hanson recalls. “Ice Cream in November was all about experimentation and learning, and I pushed myself outside my comfort zone, both in terms of the production as well as the songwriting itself. On this latest album, I was ready to go back to more familiar territory and let someone else I trusted drive the production bus.”


Joining Hanson and Bryson (who played acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, Wurlitzer, Mellotron, percussion, and contributed backing vocals) in the studio were Blair Michael Hogan (acoustic guitar, electric guitar), Philippe Charbonneau (bass), and Marshall Bureau (drums), and Emma Lamontagne, Tara Holloway, and Ken Yates all provided backing vocals.


The songs on Just A Poet are a return to the “porch music with a little red dirt” that garnered Hanson the nickname “Canada’s own Queen of Americana.” “I love songwriting and have always been drawn to the raw lyrical content that seems to be so prevalent in Americana music,” she says. “Over the years I’ve listened to people like Patty Griffin and Jason Isbell, and they’ve greatly influenced how I write songs. For the past few years, I really experimented with songwriting styles, but on this album, I wanted to get back to writing raw, capital T ‘Truth’ songs, and rediscovering the grittiness of my earlier work. As a result, I think this album contains some of the most honest songwriting I’ve ever done, and the content is highly emotionally charged. I’m a sucker for a good melodic hook, and I think groove absolutely drives a song, but I believe the foundation to any great song are its lyrics, and I think it’s what I’m known for. I strive to be as authentic as I can, so that the listener can relate and see themselves in my songs.”


A song like “Rubik’s Cube” details the imbalance of being a romantic placeholder for someone, while “Sort Of” asks, “Did you ever really love me, or at least… sort of.” On the upbeat “Can’t Let Go,” Hanson laments the fact that while she knows better, “I want to, but I can’t let go,” while “Spray Paint” takes the listener through the various stages of realizing a relationship has run its course. And on “Light in Me,” she explores the idea of self-love, singing, “I wanna land on the right side, I wanna live on the bright side, I just need to find the light in me.” On “Weeds,” Hanson sings, “What you get is what you see, only way I know how to be, when you put your money down, the only kind of sound you gonna get is me.” And she leans a little heavier into her country roots on songs like “Princess and Her Pea” and “Halfway Whole.”


Hanson has never shied away from the sad, melancholy songs: singing about heartbreak has been a staple of her work. “I feel very privileged to have had a place where I can put my feelings - positive or painful,” she says. “I love a happy, uplifting song but I also believe that it’s those painful experiences that tend to produce great art. Pain strips a person of all pretence and leaves one with just the raw truth of pure expression in order to be free of the burden of having to carry it. I always joke that I do my best writing when I’m hurting, and my best living when I’m not.” While Hanson has been called a “heartbreak poet,” the songwriter doesn’t limit heartbreak to interpersonal relationships on Just A Poet. On “About Yesterday,” she pines for a golden time that maybe never existed: “Blue skies and butterflies, all things you try and hold on to, with both hands, squeeze tight, but time keeps moving on.”


After almost 20 years of touring, Hanson plans to tour extensively in support of Just A Poet (see tour schedule below), and will enjoy performing the songs on Just A Poet, which are as authentic as they come, delivered with a splash of grit and the confidence of an artist who knows who she is. Fans of Jason Isbell, Lucinda Williams, Sturgill Simpson, and Justin Townes Earle will find much to like in Hanson’s new album.


Lynne Hanson


Too tough for folk and too blues-influenced for country, Lynne Hanson’s brand of porch music with a little red dirt can turn on a dime from a sunshine, blue-sky ballad to a full-on thunderstorm of gritty Americana swamp from one song to the next. Her hard-living music has garnered her the nickname “Canada’s own Queen of Americana.” And while her deep, bluesy croon has drawn comparisons to Lucinda Williams and Gillian Welch, it’s the poetry of her lyrics that really sets her apart.

 

Hanson has released nine studio albums along with two books of poetry over her 18-year solo career. Along the way she’s won two Canadian Folk Music Awards, as well as the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award. She’s known for her high-energy, roots guitar-driven live performances, whether playing solo or with her band, the Good Intentions, and has an uncanny way of connecting with her audience with an authenticity that is as entertaining as it is disarming.


 

TOUR DATES

May 9 - May 21 - US

May 10 - Colorado Springs, CO - Black Rose Acoustic Society

May 11 - Del Norte, Co - Wildwood Sounds

May 12 - Los Alamos, NM - Live In Los Alamos

May 13 - Albuquerque, NM - High Desert Listening Room

May 15 - Westcliffe, CO - Big View House Concert

May 17 - Greeley, CO - Cottonwood House Concert

May 18 - Boulder, CO - Stone Cottage Concert Series

May 19 - Glenwood Springs, CO - Four Mill Creek Concerts

May 20 - Carbondale, CO - Steve’s Guitars

 

May 24 - June 22 - CANADA

May 24 - VanKleek Hill, ON - Arbor Gallery

May 25 - Ottawa, ON - National Arts Centre 4th Stage

May 26 - Almonte, ON - House Concert

May 31 - Dartmouth, NS - House Concert

June 1 - Glasgow, NS - Glasgow Square Theatre

June 2 - Bedford, NS - Patchwork House Concert

June 4 - Cape Pele, NB - Patte de Mouche Gallery

June 5 - Cambridge-Narrows, NB - The Woodhouse At Norwood

June 6 - Woodstock, NB - Connell House

June 7 - Fredericton, NB - Living Roots Music Festival

June 8 - Breadalbane, PEI - House Concert

June 15 - Shawville, QC - Little Red Wagon Winery

June 16 - Westwood, QC - Rickk’s Room

June 19 - Toronto, ON - Vancestock Unplugged

June 21 - Eganville, ON - Off The Grid Productions

June 22 - Trenton, ON - Old Church Theatre

 

June 28 - June 29 - US

June 28 - Middleton, CT - The Buttonwood Tree

June 29 - Palmer, MA - House Concert

 

July 6 - CANADA

July 6 - Ottawa, ON - Ottawa Bluesfest

 

July 19 - July 21 - US

July 19 - Wabeno, WI - Big Easel Gallery

July 20 - Steven’s Point, WI - April Lane House Concert

July 21 - Woodstock, IL - Woodstock Folk Festival

 

Sept 5 - CANADA

Sept 5 - Carleton Place ON - Carleton Place Gallery

 

Sept 14 - Sept 20 - US

Sept 14 - Fanwood, NJ - Fanwood Performance Series

Sept 20 - Sharon, VT - Seven Stars Arts Center

 

Sept 26 - Oct 27 - CANADA

Sept 27 - Red Deer, AB - The Velvet Olive

Sept 28 - Calgary, AB - The Nick

Oct 3 - Edson, AB - The Heart of Edson Gallery and Studio

Oct 4 - Edmonton, AB - New Moon Folk

Oct 5 - Athabasca, AB - Heartwood Folk

Oct 6 - Vermillion, AB - Vermillion Folk Club

October 19 - Morrisburg, ON - Harmony Concerts

October 25 - Port Sydney, ON - Jimmy Joys Music Room

October 26 - Toronto, ON - 183 Gallery

October 27 - Havelock, ON - Havelock Stone Hall Sessions

 

Nov 1 - Nov 2 - US

Nov 1 - Salisbury, MD - Delmarvelous Americana House Concert

Nov 2 - Washington, DC - Lucky Penny Living Room

Nov 3 - Bristol, PA - The Meeting House Concert Series



Lynne Hanson


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