If her 2007 debut Things I Miss intrigued you as it certainly did me, Eleven Months is our reward for waiting. For just like emergent fellow Canadian Kathleen Edwards stunning 2008 release Asking For Flowers, Hanson's latest displays great growth across the entire artistic spectrum, revealing a singer/songwriter not merely following trends but creating pure, clean roots music while subsequently finding her voice and charting her ascending path.
From the title song's opening conversant lyric and Chris Barkely's reverberating, Mark Knopfler-ish dobro picking, Hanson moves decisively more prairie-ward than Edwards, and any listener thinking Hanson couldn't have been born north of the Mason-Dixon Line is forgiven. With her vulnerable, blues-shadowed vocals reminding you of any number of better known performers but never losing its ground to their influence, Hanson keeps Eleven Months from drifting off target, confidently exploring the messiness and redemption of this great life.
As was my dilemma with Things I Miss, it's very difficult for me to pinpoint any one or two songs to capture Hanson's style, so, I'll tell you which tunes resonant with me the most. "I got a friend in Jesus / though I ain't seen him in a while" opens the dusty country/folk- rock sweep of Nazareth Bound. With an effortless understanding of our frailties, the bouncy and folkish Dance in the Evermore ("Cause these vows don't ever break / through sickness and the odd mistake") paints the vivid picture of a sixty year love bracing for the ultimate loss. Complimented by Al Wood's sinister harmonica solo, Willow Tree revisits the murder tale of Pretty Polly, while Middle of the Bed offers a tender, lover's plea for release from the stresses placed upon the everyday heart.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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