I took a walk this morning around the local charity shops checking for new old vinyl and hard head action men. It was a fruitless walk with regard to the main objective but then it mostly always is. But the sun came out and it warmed my weary bones. I remembered to pick up some milk from the overly expensive high street supermarket in Wombledon Village and I then headed down the hill from the village to our little house by the railway cup of coffee on my mind. When I arrived home I was greeted by three envelopes addressed to my son who moved out about 10 years ago and a padded envelope addressed to me and bearing a handwritten note on its reverse. Life is sometimes full of beautiful little moments. 🙂
Padded envelopes always suggest straight jackets and heartache to my inner drama queen. But I digress. This padded envelope contained Hannah White ‘s new cd ‘About Time’. So as you can imagine not a padded room, straight jacket or ounce of drama anywhere to be heard! Not with songs like ‘You don’t want me anymore’, Car Crash’ and ‘Fourteen Years’. Life’s trials and tribulations laid bare. These are songs that live in the same ballrooms and bars as those frequented by Hank Williams. But there’s more to this. Hannah’s music is framed beautifully and magestically by a posse of musicians who don’t just play they feel the mood, the lilt, ebb and the flow. Svein’s bass playing is a beautiful homage to the great Carole Kaye, Lar’s Hammond organ and piano as expressive as Booker T or Billy Preston. Luca’s drums are a deft piece of work a fluttering heartbeat dancing with Hannah’s words. Keiron’s guitar work born of the blues, skipping over cracked pavements and broken dreams striving to be better than the best but in a quiet way coz he knows who’s the boss. But listen to him on ‘The Good Stuff’ his guitar comes out of nowhere. A cry, a shout a ragamuffin gunner shooting from the hip with Strat or Baritone. This fella brings the ‘noir’ the ‘South London Noir’ to the party. And what a party it is. Everyone knows a Hannah she lives for the moment, in the moment, she sees and she feels every beat and every scraped knee, bumped or bashed head. She wants for, wishes for and sings so the world might be a better place. I love the ‘Bluest Eyes’ and it’s baritone drama and angelic background vocals. I love ‘Broken Bird’ and the beautiful dueting between Hannah and Keiron. A quintessentially country sound the little vocal trill that sends shivers and Lar’s piano!! Oh such sweetness. I love ‘Daddy’s gonna make me a star’ it makes me think of the troops of kids on their way to Saturday Star School and holding up the traffic at the bottom of the Downs Road as they sachay their way across the traffic lights. It’s a long way from traffic lights to footlights and this song gives a glimpse into the angst that the journey can dole out. But the song is a joy and part of the journey that has resulted in our being able to be seduced by ‘Heavy Light’ and ‘Don’t make love too easy’ and all of the other great songs and performances on this lush, beautifully produced (by Hannah) album. Go get yourself a copy but make sure it’s on cd or vinyl (it’ll be available soon) so that you can file it alongside such greats as Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Dusty Springfield, Linda Rondstat because between you and me that’s where she’s headed.