Introducing Dave Hanson

 13308180_886846171442561_5204543334087310611_oI was first introduced to the musical talent of Dave Hanson when I saw him perform with The Dunwells at The Great Escape Festival 2013. During the bands set I was impressed with his skills on the electric guitar. The following year, I was sad to learn that he decided to leave the band, but excited as it was to create his own music and I wondered what it would sound like. Well, he creates a sound which he calls a ‘laid back, bluesy and groovy sound inspired by his love of JJ Cale, Dire Straits and The Black Keys’. 2015 saw the release of his debut EP ‘Blind Faith’ which received great reviews. He then used the site Pledge Music to get the help of his fans to fund his debut album ‘Almost Horizontal’. This hit target and Dave was able to record and release a full album. Before I talk about the album I want to share a conversation I had with Dave about his music, his new album and more. This is what he had to say:

What were your goals when working on the new album ‘Almost Horizontal’?

In the beginning we were just working towards an EP… However it was evident however after we’d laid Island Sky and Blind Faith to tape, that we’d hit upon a groove – a style that was unique to me. I started writing more in that style and pretty soon had an albums worth of material to record. My goal was to create an album that had a timeless feel to it. I’m proud of the finished product. I think it’s the best work I’ve done to date.

During the process of putting this album together, what were the highs and lows?

Well definitely budget was a big low! I kept on running out of money to get the album mixed, so would have to put the project on hold for a few months whilst I took on a job to pay for it! I did all sorts of odd jobs – gardening, working in a Travel agent. I even got a job on a movie set as a chauffeur. I drove the actor David Tennant around for a few weeks. That was fun. He’s a great guy!

One of the highs for me was getting an email from the Mastering engineer saying he loved working on the album. I used Sterling Sound in New York who are one of the biggest mastering houses in the world. They work on all the big hit records. So to get a nod from them was amazing.

How did it feel when you heard the final version of the new release?

I felt like a proud father about to send his first born child to college!

What is your favourite song from it and why?

My favourite song is “Small Town Sinner”. I wrote it as my wry observation of the internet dating game. I had this vision for a Gospel Choir at the end of the track, so I ended up getting every great singer I know to come to the studio and lay down backing vocals! When the choir kicks in at the end it gives me goosebumps.

Now the album is out their for the world to hear, what are your future goals for your music?

I’m looking forward to getting on the road to play the album live. I’ve got some UK dates over the summer and I hope to return to the States at some point. And I’m already writing and planning album number 2 – so watch this space…

Let’s talk about ‘Almost Horizontal’. Here are 11 tracks which at its core are all about the blues and as a fan of this genre you know this is all good with me. This album feels like a homage to the early works of Eric Clapton and JJ Cale who are major influences for this musician. This album also offers a little more as it includes some rock, Americana and funk with a few other genres mixed in for good measure, this shows a impressive depth in sound. Talking about the sound of this album, it is ‘Almost Horizontal’ as the title implies because of its cool laid back vibe. This relaxing tone flows throughout the album and is the main reason I am a fan of what he has created. When you listen to one of my favourite songs ‘Blind Faith’ you get to experience this trait at work. To me, it feels like the type of song I would expect from Tom Petty and it has this cool Americana vibe which has a toe tapping undertone that is infectious. I also like how a few of the songs have a funky undertone which makes them a little more fun and gets your foot tapping. The song ‘Midday Sun’ is a great example of this and another favourite of mine. The album also showcases Dave’s impressive talent with the guitar which includes him showing off his solo skills. As much as he sounds good with an electric guitar, I have a lot of love for the song ‘Make Hay’ which strips this back with an acoustic guitar (which was recorded in one take).

Lyrically, Dave seems to have learned from his influences on how to create stories within the music as well as the right soundtrack in support. He seems to balance just enough depth in his lyrics for people to follow but still deliver a catchy hook to get you singing along. Dave brings his own style of vocals to share his stories which I personally feel sounds stronger since his debut EP. His tone mirrors the relaxed feel of this release which adds so much to his music, it sounds so natural and effortless with its range. Speaking of his range, it surprised especially when I heard my favourite track ‘Devil’ for the first time. The gentle fusion of jazz meets blues is something I did not expect and Dave’s gentle tone blew me away. I love it’s low key sound which lets you to really appreciate his vocal and lyrical talent. There is also a nice guitar solo halfway through the song which is really sexy!

Overall, I expected good things from ‘Almost Horizontal’ after hearing ‘Blind Faith’ EP and it did not disappoint. I do recommend that you check out some of his songs from his YouTube page (click HERE) and if you like his sound as much as I do then grab a copy to add to your own music collection. Grab a digital copy from the usual online stores at Amazon or iTunes or grab a copy on CD from Dave’s website (click HERE).

It comes as no surprise that Dave is already working on a new album as from chatting to him I can tell he is loving what he does. If you want to find our more about his music as well as more information about gigs, head over to his website at Alternatively check out his social media pages at Facebook and Twitter.

Musicians like Dave Hanson understand the value of their fans to help spread the word about their music. Without this support they can not continue what they love to do, create the music that matters to us. So go on, support the music that matters to you today! Hopefully this will now include the music by Dave Hanson.