(Six String Social Records)
When he was in the Dunwells, Hanson brought a Mike Campbell touch to the band’s arrangements and occasional solos and breaks. Now treading his own path and performing on his own or with The Dave Hanson Band, he is mining the world of blues-rock and far beyond with a honed axe style and inbuilt sense of variety. This album is as much an exploration of song dynamics as it is of passionate singing and crisp playing.
The album title? Well in any band I am part of or front there is one Golden Rule. It is for the sake of the performers AND moreover the audience. No-one is allowed to panic or become stressed unless Pete is. Any problem can be overcome when playing live if you keep your head and sense of humour. The crowd want to enjoy the show and will have empathy if anything goes awry (see below). Dave Hanson is already a legend for staying cool and you can see from the faces of his playing compadres that they relax and play their best. Best of all, this mindset does not rule out exciting moments in the music. I have seen some groups’ sets fall apart at the slightest glitch, but that ain’t gonna happen to the likes of DH or PS…..
Materialwise it’s hard to pick favourites from this album’s content. Indeed when they played at Cornbury Festival this year, clutches of people afterwards were enthusing about different songs. Tim Palmer’s mix brings out the best in each cut.
‘Joanna’ has wailing harp over a chugging steady beat and conspiratorial vocal ; ‘Blind Faith’ is already a stage favourite and mixes acoustic guitar with mentholated slide, a tale of development over an easy country rock beat. ‘Midday Sun’ goes Caribbean, with appropriate percussion, lyric on de-stressing.
‘Devil’ is contemplative and somehow makes me think of the film Local Hero, with the lovey backing vocals this man favours ; ‘Island Sky’ breezes out of the speakers on a funk backdrop, biting wah guitar in the mix. ‘Do You Get The Fear’ goes for a churning, greasy sound. ‘Let It Go’ uses a syncopated rhythm and Bo Diddley handclaps with sweeping slide before the sound thickens. ‘Por Favor Senor’ nods to Carlos as we all do from time to time.
‘Crystal Ball’ is night music, twinkling piano et al and shades of early Fleetwood Mac and very good, too; ‘Small Town Sinner’ has a stabbing tempo and more sharp guitar and would surely suit a thriller film opening sequence? Closing track ‘Make Hay’ is lovely laidback fare.
Foot off the monitor and eschewing face-pulling, Hanson is a rooted but modern guitar exponent this side of subtle and that side of adventurous.
Dave Hanson’s new album ‘Almost Horizontal’ is out now on Six String Social Records. In addition, on Friday 21st October 2016, Lost In The Manor and The Finsbury Presents #Blogtober evening curated by Just Listen To This at The Finsbury Pub, Finsbury, London, N4 1BY (Nearest Tube: Manor House) and The Dave Hanson Band will be performing for us! The show is free entry but you do need to apply for tickets here: https://billetto.co.uk/en/events/blogtober-just-listen-to-this-curates-21st-october-the-finsbury
(Please note this show is 18+ and you can only apply for a maximum of two tickets)
* For more info, point your mouse at davehansonmusic.co.uk