Blues, Meet Country

More than one distinct musical style is in force in Hannah Fair’s CD Open Road, but the truth is, blues, folk and country all have a place here, next to a hard-driving guitar and bold, sassy voice, and lyrics at once compassionate and self-aware.

(Listen to her songs online at ReverbNation here, while you read!)

Down-to-earth roots or Americana is how Hannah describes her sound. Her influences include Brandi Carlile, Tegan and Sara (the early stuff), and Jack Johnson.

What you hear, though, is a true original, vocally and lyrically.

In the title track, a lover leaves the singer alone, and when she uses all her dimes “just to hear a dial tone” on an old pay phone, ending up broke doesn’t change her longing for him. It’s a feeling she will revisit in the guise of other characters, like June in “Poor June,” a tightly written tune that evokes the best of country songwriting.

What Hannah Fair gives us in track after track is a mature, personal, distinctive narrative, a plea, or a portrait. And when it suits her, there’s “Do-Si-Do,” a rollicking, dance-y ditty that makes you want to move, even as she “forgets” and “forgives” so she can “love again.” That’s quite a repertoire for one so young.

I asked Hannah, 18, for the stories behind the songs. She gave a sense of their origins instead, and how they make her feel.

“I find that ‘Home’ and ‘Simply Unable’ are really hard for me to play these days, they are really triggering,” she writes in an instant message. “They bring up some hard memories. But ‘Poor June,’ I wrote for a friend in my sophomore year of high school, her name was June and she just asked for a song one day. I wrote ‘Poor June,’ and it ended up really relating to her, it was really cool because we didn’t know each other very well.”

Eager to experiment with electric guitar, Hannah also has no favorite haunt. She just likes to get out and play!

“Every venue I play is a new experience that I look forward to, and I try to play every gig like it is the most important one I’ll ever play,” she writes. “You never know who is going to be there.”

How refreshing: a performer eager to meet her audience. And she’s personable besides!

Check her out when you can.

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