Audio and video production by Capital Media Corp. Austin, TX
Producer - Joe Lynch. Sound Engineers - Nick Smith and Doug Dewey
PRESENTED BY NANCY ANDERSON LaBARBIERA
In some way Jim Hanft's music feels like it's been in your collection for years. Maybe it's the lyrics that you've thought, but been too afraid to say. Maybe it's the warmth of his voice during the crest of a helpless verse. Or maybe it's the nostalgic nature of his song that leaves you thinking, "Wait, I've been here before." Regardless of what it is Jim Hanft has set out to paint his life in songs using his voice, guitar and a broken harmonica. It was in late 2009 after a small show in New York City that Jim Hanft was approached by Veranda Records owner, Petra Marten. With a twenty dollar bill, and a Swedish accent Petra bought whatever Jim was selling and a few weeks later she offered him a record deal.
It was at that moment that Jim Hanft would become an International Recording Artist. Just a few months later, Hanft along with musical counterpoint Samantha Yonack were on a plane to Stockholm to record with producer Lasse Marten (Peter, Bjorn & John, Lykke Li and the Shout Out Louds) and a band of Swedish badasses. After three weeks of recording they completed over 20 news songs and drank approximately 984 coffees. These sessions recorded at Decibel Studios would later become the Burn Me In My Boots EP (Sweden/Fan Only) and the full length album, "Weddings Or Funerals."
Having played over 250 shows with just a guitar and partner, Samantha Yonack, Lasse Marten had his hands full bridging the gap between Hanft's traveling troubadour ways and the desire to record a timeless-sounding record. Luckily with their mutual love for bands like the Counting Crows and Oasis they found a common ground where they both could perform at their best. In the end "Weddings Or Funerals" is eleven stories all framed by a modern musical landscape rooted in raw unaltered performances. Torten Braf explained it best in his review of the album in Eskilstunakuriren, "What Hanft and Mårtén accomplished is a small miracle in it's simplicity. Great folk rock, beautiful and moving alternative country. Purely innovative." "Weddings Or Funerals" was released in 2010 in Sweden and was supported by a live performance on Swedish National Television and tour of Sweden. The album will come out in the US early 2012 and will be supported by a national tour.
The collaborative musical partnership between Hanft and singer, Samantha Yonack is rarely seen in the often every-man-for-himself singer/songwriter world. Having been nutured by over five years of touring and co-writing Jim & Sam have developed an infectious on stage chemistry with off-the-cuff antics so unguarded that the audience is immediately invited into their world. On record, co-written songs like, "By The Stream" and "Lazy Love," have a romantic sensitivity about them adding a new dynamic to Hanft's music that calls back to the partnership of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris or Jonny & June.
Raised outside of Philadelphia Jim Hanft grew up an athlete. It wasn't until he was rejected from the 10th grade baseball team that he decided he would pursue music. He immediately started a band with friends and began to write songs. Upon graduating he moved to Boston to go to Emerson College to study comedy. Through performing sketch comedy he acquired a comedic timing that has become a staple to every Jim Hanft show. After graduating college, Hanft moved to Los Angeles where he self-released his debut album, "Backyard Waltz" a 10 song collection of songs documenting the loss of his father and the trials of moving 3,000 miles away from home. With the help of his friends from the rock band Calcutta and fellow songwriter, Tim McGlone, "Backyard Waltz" was released in 2008. The songs on BW are explorative across genres and capture Hanft as he is searching to find a voice that's his own. A few of the songs like "Caffeine" and "Superhero" remain fan-favorites at live shows while others won't be thought about or sung again until the Rare Hanft Collection releases in late 2025.
TUNE IN AGAIN SOON!