Lynne Hanson

Lynne Hanson

 Ottawa, Ontario, CAN

Porch music with a little Texas red dirt. 2010 Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award. 2009 Canadian Folk Music Award Nominee. 2009 Kerrville New Folk Finalist. 2009 Rose Garden Performing Songwriter Finalist. 2008 regional finalist Mountain Stage New Song contest.


"Canadian songbird, Lynne Hanson is yet another from her homeland making an impression on the Americana roots scene. She looks set to be around for the long haul." - Maverick Magazine (UK)

Porch music with a little Texas Red Dirt
2010 Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award
2009 Canadian Folk Music Award Nominee
2009 Kerrville New Folk Finalist
2009 Rose Garden Coffeehouse Performing Songwriter Finalist
2008 Mountain Stage New Song Canadian Finalist

Once The Sun Goes Down

Once The Sun Goes Down a bright new star rises. Meet Lynne Hanson. This Ottawa-based singer/songwriter is poised to light up Canada’s roots music landscape with this compelling new album. She is justifiably proud of it, calling it the fullest expression yet of her artistic voice. “I am willing to live or die by this record,” Hanson declares.

Spend some time with this record, and it will burrow deep into your heart, never letting go. Hanson’s poetic and passionate songs are neatly framed by an all-star supporting cast. Her core band comprises multi-instrumentalist David Baxter (Justin Rutledge, Bob Snider), drummer Blake Manning (Blue Rodeo), bassist Brian Kobayakawa (Creaking Tree String Quartet) and keyboardist Jason Sniderman (Blue Peter). Making invaluable contributions are Justin Rutledge (banjo), Gilles Leclerc (mandolin, backing vocals), Kevin Fox (cello), Paul Reddick (harmonica), Roman Tome (percussion), and background vocalists Lynn Miles, Jack Marks, Max Heinemann, and Joshua Cockerill.

Baxter produced, recorded and mixed Once The Sun Goes Down at his knob & tube studio in Toronto. “We worked together so well,” says Hanson. “David pointed me in the right direction though I never felt pushed. The sessions were actually great fun. For me to play with that caliber of musician is just a joy. It means you bring your A game, as you want to show your best.”

In turn, Baxter was highly impressed with Hanson’s talent and work ethic. “Lynne means every word she sings. She uses traditional song forms and stories to tell a very personal story. A terrific, direct singer and a great guitar player. If she was a boxer, they'd say she punches above her weight.”

The warm and intimate vibe of their sessions is neatly captured here. It’s a musically rich record, but the centre of attention is always Hanson’s hauntingly pure vocals and emotionally eloquent songs. Reference points for her country-folk rooted style include Gillian Welch and Lucinda Williams, though, intriguingly, Hanson only began listening to those artists once the comparisons kept coming up. “It may be that I just listened to the same stuff they did,” she says.

Hanson’s early love of jazz was later replaced by bluegrass and traditional country, while teenage years included singing and playing Neil Young songs at home. If pressed, Lynne will describe her sound as “porch music with a little Texas red dirt. I write these songs on acoustic guitar in my kitchen. I want them to sound like the original concept, except with a band. I call it porch music, as it’s like everyone in the neighborhood comes over and brings their instruments.”

It is hard to fathom that Hanson only began writing her own songs five years ago. She released a well-received debut album, Things I Miss, in 2006, followed by 2008’s internationally-acclaimed Eleven Months. Lynne credits fellow songsmith Paul Bourdeau as a mentor, and he co-wrote five of the new tunes. Traveling the international folk circuit has kept Hanson’s muse fired up. “The more I am around great songwriters the more I learn about how to try to be a good songwriter,” she says.

There’s no cause to be modest about songs as strong as those on Once The Sun Goes Down. Many of them have been strip-mined from Hanson’s personal life, and she dissects matters of the heart with scalpel-like precision. She calls “Three Times Bent” “the story of my emotional life over the past five years. Music has saved me during a very difficult time personally.”

The album takes the listener on an emotional rollercoaster ride, beginning with the anguish of “When Lovers Leave,” moving through the hesitancy of “Here We Go Again” and ending on an optimistic note with “Lilacs Dancing” (“you answered the call and turned my heart around”). The most character-driven song here is the powerful tale of “Mary Mary.” “Every record needs a good murder ballad,” laughs Lynne.

Appearances in the Finals of the New Folk Competition at [famed Texas folk festival] Kerrville, an unofficial showcase at South By Southwest in Austin and appearances at Folk Alliance in Memphis last year brought unanimously positive audience responses. These have been duplicated at her frequent appearances at folk festivals and clubs in Europe and the U.K. in recent years. Whether solo or opening up for such folk greats as Dar Williams, Hanson’s relaxed and warm persona has won fans at every stop. No surprise that she is now in real demand on the house concerts circu


river by my side

Written By: Paul Bourdeau

Black sky in the morning
The birds have flown away
There’s fire on the eastern rise
Bringing a worried day

I ride the river by my side
I ride the river by my side
I ride the river by
My side

Sister there’s too many
Signs for you to read
Raise your eyes up to the sky
And try and follow me

You can't stop the water
Rising from the ground
Trouble is your friend my friend
You will surely drown

Nazareth Bound

Written By: Lynne Hanson

I got a friend in Jesus
Though I aint seen him in a while
Folks say that hes gone missing
But I think he just got tired
Tired of always preaching
Always chasing never found

No lighthouse left to guide me
They burned them to the ground
Think I may need a bigger boat to navigate
I’m Nazareth bound

Sifting through the sawdust
Looking for a hammer or a nail
Some proof that you’ve been working
On an answer to my prayer
I’m praying for redemption
Think that you could take me there

I got no roots to tie me
As I search a distant land
Wanting only to be born again
A virgin soul upon the sand
Brother can you tell me
Tell me who can lend a hand

Movie Queen

Written By: Lynne Hanson & Paul Bourdeau

Driving on the blacktop
Stop for nothing but a cheap motel
Pine trees and gasoline
Just some of the things I smell

As I pass through your town
Turn my head along the way
What kinda fool was I
To ever think you’d stay

I turned left
When I should have turned right
I’ve been lost ever since
We crossed paths that night

When you took me for a movie queen
I took you for a diamond ring
Said I set you on your knees
But that was fine

Cause we were lovers then
Though never were quite friends
Together we were never broke
But man we sure did bend

The rules in the sand
Dance with the devil on his throne
Till Babylon come crashing down
And I woke up alone

Eleven Months

Written By: Lynne Hanson

Another Sunday evening
Whole work week stare me down
Cigarette is burning
In my fingers tainted brown

On the table there's a list of things
That I'm supposed to do
Instead I sit for hours
Feeling bad a little pissed at you and

Winter's come and gone
And I ain't moved a finger yet
I been sitting here drinking and I'm not sorry
Though I'm feeling just a little bit spent

See I can't seem to convince my hands
That it's time to pack your clothes
Or talk my feet into walking these boxes
To SallyAnn at the end of the road

Not seen much of my friends
I'm not taking calls from kin
Not wanting to answer questions
Bout the kind of shape I'm in and


Well there's flowers in my hallway
They been there for a while
Stack of well meaning cards
All sitting neatly in a pile

Eleven months sitting
And I just can't get it straight
There ain't no fixing what's gone missing
From where I'm sitting anyways


How Little I Sleep

Written By: Lynne Hanson / Paul Bourdeau

Think back to a time when things seemed clear
Feels like a thousand miles from here
My restless heart out on my sleeve
Trade anything I wanna believe

I sit tight my ship could come in
It keeps me up nights though to know what might have been
I'm tired how little I sleep

Well I walked to the mountain to appease my sin
I held fast to the places I have been
Just tales at the bottom of the unmarked road
Eye of the needle makes a heavy load


A free bird sitting on the wire sings
You wont catch him thinking bout anything
If it catch his fancy he'll fly away
I catch myself thinking everyday


Here We Go Again

Written By: Lynne Hanson

Here we go again
Lynne Hanson

I’m not ready to be loved again
I’m not ready for your charms
I’m not ready for your sweet words
For you to hold me in your arms

Cause I’m afraid of getting lost again
Afraid of giving out my heart
I’m still sleeping with the lights on
There might be monsters in the dark

Oh and here we go again
I’m left waiting for the living to begin
The kings horses and all the kings men
Can’t rescue me

I’ve spent months reacquainting
Starting over from the start
I got down on my knees
I tore everything apart

I searched the darkness for forgiveness
Even offered penance to the fire
Worked to purge my soul of the hurt
Till the flames burnt even higher

I can hear you softly knocking
I stand quiet on the other side
There’s still a door between us
I know you’d like to open wide

But I’m still picking up the pieces
Still broken glass along my path
You’ll find that I tread lightly
The same is all I ask

Rest Of My Days

Written By: Lynne Hanson

I lost myself
in the tall dark grass
wandering through the fields
of my cold stark past

horizon stretching out
big sky blue
I watch the passing clouds
they make me think of you

I held on with both hands till my hands did ache
held on so tight I thought my arms might break
but the walls come tumbling and I fell anyway
the rest of my days

I dream of a minstrel
come to carry me home
There’ s music in the shadows
I dance to it alone

coyotes howl
loons have a lonesome cry
across my lips will pass no sound
just the silence of my pride


I came across a holy man
he said to watch my step
that I should follow him
into the spiritual depths

instead I fell with gypsies
we dance with bells around our feet
as we weave and sway
down on hastings street



Once The Sun Goes Down *independent Sept 2010

Eleven Months *independent Sept 2008
#14 EuroAmericana Chart Sept 2008
Now Thats Americana OK vol1 compilation (Cold Touch)

Things I Miss *independent Sept 2006
River By My Side (Things I Miss) – 2006 Blues Award Ontario Council of Folk Festivals (OCFF)
Pick of the Month August 2006 - Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC Radio One)
Title track was chosen as one of the best songs of 2006 by the Indie Acoustic Music Project.

Set List

Lynne can perform two 60 minute sets of original music.

Lynne can also draw on a repertoire of covers in the roots music genre when required. Examples would include:

Orphan Girl – Gillian Welch
Tear my Stillhouse Down - Gillian Welch
How Long Blues – Leroy Carr
Wayfaring Stranger – Traditional
Train to Memphis – Sue Foley
I'm the Moon – Lynn Miles
Hallelujah – Jenny Whiteley