7 Deadly Spins
Just in time for Halloween, Ottawa-based singer-songwriter Lynne Hanson has released 7 Deadly Spins, a thematic EP that adds seven new songs – four written by Lynne and three more that she co-wrote – to the murder ballad traditions in folk, rock and real-deal country music.
Lynne sings in character in most of these songs, either as an observer like the title persona in the Waitsian “Gravedigger,” or more often, from the perspective of a killer like the wronged – and possibly battered – wife who killed her husband in “Water’s Edge.”
One of the most interesting songs is “Cecil Hotel,” in which a farmer who went into a rage and killed the banker who was going to foreclose on his farm is holed up at a skid row hotel. Curious, I Googled Cecil Hotel and discovered it was an infamous hotel in Los Angeles that had been both home to several murderers on the lam over the years and the site of several murders. I assume Lynne knew that and purposefully chose that name for the song and the hotel in it.
Other highlights include “Black Widow,” about a woman who’s been married five times and whose husbands quickly “drop like flies it never ends well”; and “Run Johnny Run,” co-written with producer Lynn Miles, that seems to be about a late-night incident in which five people were left dead after a violent confrontation and arson to cover it up.
Most of the songs strike me as being set in rural areas or small towns and I can imagine them as black-and-white film noirs from the 1940s or ‘50s.
Lynne Hanson & the Good Intentions will launch 7 Deadly Spins in Ottawa on Halloween night, October 31, 9:30 pm, at Greenfields, 900 Greenbank Road.