Singer Lynne Hanson is next up in the Ponoka United Church and Home Routes concert series.
The acclaimed artist performs on March 12 at the church, with showtime set for 7 p.m.
As her bio points out, Hanson is an Ottawa-based, Americana songwriter known for her, “high-energy roots guitar-driven live performances with an authenticity that’s as entertaining as it is disarming.”
Her foray into performing as a solo artist came about quite unexpectedly.
“I was playing rhythm guitar for my ex — he was a guitar player who became a singer/songwriter. And this was way back in 2000,” she explained.
The relationship ultimately ended, but a fresh creative journey was launched for Hanson.
“I started writing really sad songs,” she said with a chuckle.
“I also recorded an album, because I got some encouragement from a guitarist who I was doing some co-writing with. It just kind of morphed into something.”
That debut disc ended up in someone’s hands overseas, and Hanson landed an agent in Holland.
“The rest, as they say, is history. I hadn’t wanted to be a singer/songwriter — it wasn’t something where I was saying this is something I have always wanted to do since I was five.”
These days, she can hardly believe it’s been her path for about 24 years now.
“I’m receptive to doors opening, so when a door opens I walk through it — and I’ll go after it pretty hard,” she said.
“Once I got a bit of encouragement with this, and had some people indicating this was something I should do, I went after it.”
A prolific artist and a gifted vocalist to boot, Hanson is now gearing up for the release of her 10th project this spring.
Filling those discs with her unique expressions has come quite naturally, too. She takes a relatively disciplined approach to the craft.
“The more experience you have as a songwriter, you have these techniques and things that you do to facilitate the development of a song.”
As to her compelling, blues-tinged vocal prowess, that’s an instrument that has developed naturally over the years.
“I’ve always sung. I think with most people, even if you aren’t doing it for money, I think it’s the most natural thing in the world to sing.”
Even though dreams of a music career weren’t front and centre during her growing-up years, there was a sincere appreciation for music.
“I was exposed to a lot of singer/songwriters when I was growing up, and I think it impacted the way that I go about writing songs,” she said.
“So while I’m drawn to singer/songwriters, I also listen to a lot of jazz and a lot of bluegrass, too. I think that’s where a lot of melodic sensibilities come from as well.”
Winner of two Canadian Folk Music Awards, Hanson has also toured extensively across North America, Europe, and the UK, and appeared at festivals including Take Root (Netherlands), Glasgow Americana (Scotland), Maverick Festival (UK), Kerrville Folk Festival (US), and Winnipeg Folk Festival.
Meanwhile, local audiences will be treated to a bevy of tunes from her aforementioned newest project, which officially releases in May.
“To be honest, I think it’s almost a return to my ‘rootsier’ leanings. My last couple of recordings had elements of indie to them, so those who are fans of my Americana sound would say they liked the songs and the songwriting (of the recent albums), but that they liked the older stuff better.
“This record is a little more stripped-back. I think for those who are fans of my songwriting especially, it’s going to be a relief to hear the songs be front and centre and everything else servicing the songs.”
Ultimately, there is no life quite like it.
“It’s the songs that keep me inspired,” she said.
“When you’ve written something and you know it’s a keeper, that’s a really special feeling because it’s creating something from nothing.”
Next up in the Home Routes series are Kitty and the Rooster on April 12, and JD Evans who will be rounding out the season on May 16.
Tickets for the show are available at the church office or through Eventbrite at coffeehouseseries2atpuc.eventbrite.ca.