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.

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--Mike Regenstreif

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