Sunday, September 21, 2014

Lynne Hanson – River of Sand

River of Sand
Well Done Music

Lynne Hanson’s first three recordings – released between 2006 and 2010 – were all good albums that showcased a singer-songwriter of great promise. After a four-year wait since her previous release, Lynne delivers on that promise with River of Sand – 11 songs delve deep into personal darkness, whether she’s seemingly writing about herself or obviously about a character she’s created.

Several songs delve into broken, ended relationships but she writes and sings with depth about contradictory feelings – “I say that I don’t care/ I’m stone but I’m lying,” she sings in “Whiskey and Tears,” and “Our home became four walls of love grown cold/ My heart still broke the day that it was sold,” she sings in “This Old House.”

Other songs explore the effects of depression. In “This Too Shall Pass,” the narrator contemplates the absolute loneliness of depression and, perhaps, a final ending. In “Heaven and Hell,” she feels like she’s being strangled by the devil.

The crutch of drinking and losing one’s self in the effects of alcohol are vividly explored in several songs including the title song as well as the aforementioned “Whiskey and Tears” and “Colour My Summers Blue.”

Lynne also steps outside of herself in “Good Intentions,” in which a character named Suzy finds herself compromised at the hands of a would-be rapist and fights back with lethal force.

The album ends on a brighter note. While still singing about a broken relationship in “Trading in My Lonesome,” co-written with producer Lynn Miles, Lynn sings about the personal redemption borne of real closure.

It is obvious, listening to these songs that Lynne is writing about these emotions with authenticity. The songs, and her clear country alto, are well served by finely crafted arrangements featuring such musicians as guitarist Keith Glass, fiddler Lyndell Montgomery, Anders Dreup on pedal steel and guitar, and Lynn Miles and Rebecca Campbell on harmony vocals.

Find me on Twitter.

And on Facebook.

--Mike Regenstreif

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Canadian Spaces – CKCU – Saturday September 20, 2014

CKCU can be heard at 93.1 FM in Ottawa and on the web.

Canadian Spaces on CKCU in Ottawa is Canada’s longest-running folk music radio program. It is heard Saturday mornings from 10:00 am until noon (Eastern time).

It was hosted for more than 33 years by the late Chopper McKinnon and is now hosted by Chris White and a rotating cast of co-hosts.

This week’s show was co-hosted by Mike Regenstreif and Tonya Price.

Guest: Terry Gillespie

Jesse Winchester- A Little Louisiana

Lynne Hanson- Trading in My Lonesome
River of Sand (Lynne Hanson)

Notre Dame de Grass- Edmunston Nights

Penny Lang- Prairie Sky

Steel Rail- That’s How the Summer Slips Away
River Song (Crossties)

Anne Hills- Maria Took the Train to Town
Tracks (Hand & Heart Music)

Kenny Butterill- Old Man and the Kid
Troubadour Tales (No Bull Songs)

Catherine MacLellan- Gone Too Soon
The Raven’s Sun (Catherine MacLellan)

Durham County Poets- Ragman Blues
Chikkaboodah Stew (Durham County Poets)

Kathy Reid-Naiman- Pretty Betty Martin
Dear Jean: Artists Celebrate Jean Ritchie (Compass)

All Day Breakfast Stringband- Love’s Worse Than Sickness
Shanghai (All Day Breakfast Stringband)

Jesse Winchester- Just So Much

The next three songs punctuated our conversation with Terry Gillespie.

Terry Gillespie- Street Choir
Live in the studio

Terry Gillespie- There’s a Hole in My Heart
Live in the studio

Terry Gillespie- Johnny Too Bad
Live in the studio

Jill Zmud- Victoria Tucker
Small Matters of Life and Death (Jill Zmud)

The last half-hour of the show celebrated Leonard Cohen, the day before his 80th birthday.

Leonard Cohen- Suzanne
Songs of Leonard Cohen (Columbia/Legacy)

Perla Batalla w/David Hidalgo- Ballad of the Absent Mare
Bird on the Wire: The Songs of Leonard Cohen (Mechuda Music)

Tom Russell- Tower of Song
Love & Fear bonus EP (HighTone)

The Good Lovelies- Hallelujah
Live at Revolution (Six Shooter)

Leonard Cohen- Who By Fire
Livei n London (Columbia)

The show is now available for online listening.

I’ll be co-hosting Canadian Spaces again on November 22.

Find me on Twitter.

And on Facebook.

--Mike Regenstreif

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Jesse Winchester – A Reasonable Amount of Trouble

A Reasonable Amount of Trouble
Appleseed Recordings

My review of A Reasonable Amount of Trouble, the late Jesse Winchester’s final studio album, is now available on the Montreal Gazette website.

Find me on Twitter.

And on Facebook.

--Mike Regenstreif