Lynne Hanson

Song Premiere: Lynne Hanson “Hundred Mile Wind”

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Americana Highways is hosting this premiere of Lynne Hanson’s song “Hundred Mile Wind,” from her forthcoming album Ice Cream in November.  Ice Cream in November will be available on April 22; the song is releasing on March 25.  The album was co-produced by Lynne Hanson and Blair Michael Hogan; mixed and mastered by Phil Shaw Bova; and was recorded by Hanson and Hogan in their home studios.

“Hundred Mile Wind” is Lynne Hanson on vocals and acoustic guitar; Blair Michael Hogan on electric guitars and melotron; Peter Klaassen on upright bass; Mikhail Laxton on backing vocals; and Phil Shaw Bova on drums, vibraphone and percussion.

We had a chance to chat with Lynne Hanson.  The song premiere is just below the interview.

Americana Highways: What prompted you to write this song? What was the inspiration behind it?

Lynne Hanson: The song was inspired by a windstorm I found myself in while on tour in the southern United States. On that particular day in Oklahoma, the winds reached 100 miles an hour, and I was almost blown off my feet at one point while filling up the tour van at a gas station. The dirt got into everything, and at times we couldn’t see anything but dusty air. Definitely not something one forgets, and after telling the story a few times, that line in the chorus popped into my head so I wrote it down. When I was looking for images for the cover art for a single I was going to put out, I came across all the photos I had taken on that tour, including a bunch of abandoned cars out in the desert and an old abandoned gas station. Those images definitely helped create a backstory to the characters in the song.

AH:  How did this song come together when you wrote it? What was the songwriting process like?

LH: This song is a co-write with Ottawa-based songwriter, Jessica Pearson. I’d been doing a lot of virtual writing sessions in early 2021 due to the various pandemic lockdowns, and our session was one of my first “in-person” writes, as we were able to sit down together in my backyard in May 2021. I’d already started “Hundred Mile Wind.” This was one of those collaborations where I was able to use another writer to move the lyrics forward by talking through the ideas out loud together. For me, a song can sometimes get stuck at half-done, and having another writer in the room helps to get the song over the finish line.

AH: When you recorded this song, what kind of vibe were you going for? Did it end up sounding like you expected it to or did it come out different from what you thought it would be?

LH: I wanted the song to be as gritty as the Oklahoma air that inspired it, and it’s definitely one of the more Americana sounding tracks on the record. The drums set the tone on this track, and we had Phil Shaw Bova track them remotely, so our instruction was to lean away from a folk-type treatment and to avoid a straight up train beat. We reinforced the galloping-type feel with a strummed acoustic guitar, and then sort of glued the whole thing together with a spooky guitar pad that runs under the whole mix. I have to admit to being a big fan of the tremolo Gretsch part, which gives it a real dark, almost spaghetti western feel.

AH: What do you hope listeners get from the song? What do you want its message to be?

LH: The song is really about a couple of badass characters who fall for each other. The lead character thinks she’s tough enough to handle her lover, but ultimately she blinks in the end and ends up alone. I think there’s a little bit of me in the third verse when I sing, “I put words on a page cause they don’t talk back / it’s a one way street and I like it like that.” Ultimately, I hope listeners can “see” the same dusty, lonely, star-crossed characters that I had in my own mind when I wrote the lyrics.

AH: How does this song fit in among the songs on your forthcoming album?

LH: The upcoming album has a lot of variety on it, and this is definitely one of the more outlaw country tracks. The song and the production are probably more typical of songs off my 2014 release, “River of Sand,” though with a few more quirks. I think the poetry of the lyrics is consistent with the rest of the album, with this song showing off the grittier side of my songwriting.

Find the music by Lynne Hanson here:

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