Hannah's Bare Bones
Bruce Von Stiers
Late last year I was doing a Google search, double checking information regarding an old review I'd written. I came across a couple of quotes from me on a singer / songwriter's site. I didn't exactly remember the quote, or who the artist was. Come to find out that she was the lead singer/ guitarist for Auburn Court . They were an all girl blues rock band. Back in 2004 I had reviewed In Due Time, an EP that the band had recorded. They weren't together as a band anymore but still wanted people to listen to their music. I really liked the EP and gave it a favorable review.
That singer /songwriter from Auburn Court is Hannah Williams. Back then (before marriage and parenting) she was known as Hannah Castelluccio. Upon learning who she was, I re-listened to the band's EP. The band really kicked ass. As for the two quotes, “Hanna belts out lyrics” and “Hannah's vocals are great”, I still stand by them.
The reason I told that story is to let you know about Hannah's new album. A long time in the making, this album contains the heart and soul of Hannah's core music. The album has the very appropriate title of Bare Bones.
The songs on the album were written by Hannah. It was produced by Hannah's husband, Damon Williams and Jacob Gonzalez. The album was recorded in Austin where Hannah is based.
Helping out on the recording were a great group of musicians, some of whom serve as Hannah's backing band. Matt Danko was on drums. Matt Slagel was on bass. Greg Williams was on sax, while Paul Deemer was on trombone and Mike Sailors played trumpet. Ephriam Owens was on trumpet for one song. James Speer played the organ on one song. Michaels Davids played organ other songs along with the grand piano and keys. Brian Batch played viola on one song. Damon Williams played guitar. Jacob Gonzalez played acoustic guitar and an assortment of other instruments. Georgia Bramhall provided terrific backing vocals. Hannah did all of the lead vocals on the album and played the nylon string guitar on one of the songs.
Hannah starts out the album with a song called My Way. Cool guitar backs brassy yet fluid vocals. There are some horn bits sliding in and out of the music that are pretty tough. And the end of the song has a very slick guitar and organ mix. The song's about lessons learned in life and what she'd be like if it had been easier.
A little funky blues is what Share The Love (It's Alright) is like. The music will have you bopping your head. The song has a too cool blues rock guitar laden bridge.
Things shift way down with the song 11 Years. It is a smooth and easy love song. It has an almost ‘70's mellow R & B flavor.
Next up is a mellow, kind of slow burning love lost blues lament. She's telling him to go ahead and blame her for their fall-out. Never mind all of her love and support over the years. Now she is the bad guy. Tough guitar backs lyrical yet somewhat aching vocals. The horn music is excellent in the song, which is called Blame Me.
The title track, Bare Bones, is a solid blues song. It has excellent guitar and superb vocals from Hannah and great backing vocals.
Tiny Island has a mix of funk and R & B vocals, both reminiscent of ‘70's music.
Vicious Spell is a soft and gentle piano laden love ballad. But near the end of the song, things move into a more moderate pace.
Grateful is yet another soft and easy song. Lyrical vocals front some nice acoustic guitar and string music.
The album ends with something extra special. It is Hannah's daughter Emalina singing. They call this little bit Emalina's Improvised Song.
Sometimes circumstances lead to interesting and exciting connections. If I hadn't been checking on an old review, I might not have seen Hannah's site. And I might not have ever re-connected with her. And that would have been a shame. For the talent that I felt Hannah had back then has matured and made her an even better performer.
I thoroughly enjoyed Bare Bones. I'm sure you will too.
Bare Bones is available at CD Baby, amazon.com or through Hannah's official site.
The Hannah Williams official site is http://www.hannahwilliamsmusic.com
© 2012 Bruce E Von Stiers