Road Trips With The Music Of Jeff Hanson
It's Friday night and I hope you are enjoying the evening as much as I am. With windows open, orange Halloween LED lights (tis the season) draped haphazardly across my office desk, and the glow of the computer screen dimly lighting the otherwise darkened room, it's a perfect not-yet-crisp Autumn evening. It's an evening for music.
In 2003 I discovered the music of singer Jeff Hanson - a dude with a footballer (American football) build and an angelic falsetto. The combination is unexpected. Like singer Elliott Smith, Hanson was signed to the Kill Rock Stars record label and both Smith and Hanson share very similar writing and musical delivery styles.
I listen to Jeff Hanson's music at very specific times, usually. When the world becomes overwhelming - and I have a day or two for a road trip - I get in my car (many different cars throughout the years) and drive - to anywhere. The music of Jeff Hanson joins me more often than not. Angelic vocal expressions spill into the open air through my car window - while traveling down predictable highways or undiscovered scenic backroads. Though often highly emotional, Jeff Hanson's music calms me.
His music is freedom from a world that demands conformity.
And it moves me. It makes me pause and think and silently enjoy - while I'm usually behind a steering wheel. And, yes, I often sing along. But, tonight, while in my bedroom/office, I've been enjoying his music without the scenery around me quickly passing me by, without the wind whipping through my hair. Without the expectancy that I am headed somewhere better than from where I had come. It's me, with Halloween lights, a computer screen and speakers, and the amazing music of Jeff Hanson.
His music is pure beauty. I suspect none of you have heard of him - and if you have a moment - you might add another artist to your favorite playlist. His music has always been very important to me and every time I play his songs, it's like a reunion. 3 albums - self-entitled, "Son", and "Madam Owl". Masterpieces I'll always treasure.
On June 5th, 2009 Jeff Hanson took his life. ;
The End of Everything Known (live) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=si0REg8eDWo (you can skip to minute 2:55, if you are pressed for time).
The End of Everything Known (not live - clearer vocal) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVxCyeveOwU
This Time It Will - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC7ICWiN6iw...
Hiding Behind The Moon - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrtlc7YNK-M
The End of Everything Known
Don't ever go away And find the time another day To leave the ends of this life And don't decide what it is Take it back make it this We're now left wondering why And everytime for everyday Is something more with less to say Turning around and around And all of me is nothing more You decide what's it's for Will it all lead to your life to your life Going again round and round oh your life How about the turnings here Another day not quite a year All in the end comes out right Just because everyone feels for you How does that turn dark into light And all we know is what we hear From voices that aren't very clear Changing to be what wins out But even though we're never there Who decides everywhere Leading us on to your life to your life Going again round and round oh your life I'm taking on all of this to choke on and die This is just my time Pulling back everything I said before The time was right but now I know this part of life To me goes on
- Jeff Hanson
Photo: Jeff Hanson