Chicago to New Orleans and Beyond.
“Tell me, does it move you, does it soothe you? Does it fill your heart and soul with the roots of rock and roll?”
This question, asked by Hanson in the song Been There Before, from their 2007 release The Walk, will be put to the test in October, when the Roots and Rock N Roll Tour takes to the road.
The question will be equally addressed to Hanson and their audience. For during this tour, Hanson will take to the stage as creators of music but also as fans of music. This tour will consist of a two-night date, two shows, The Hanson experience expanded.
They will perform their own songs, both the more and less well known, and they will light a touch paper to their show allowing their influences to explode on stage in the form of a set made up largely of cover songs.
This set, slated to include previously performed and new covers, will allow Hanson to perform the music that has inspired them and which they love to play, but also to make a series of statements about the band, its identity, history, passions and legitimacy. It will declare the context in which their music is grounded and celebrate the legacy of American rock and roll.
It will also shout out that Hanson is both an intelligent and gutsy band. It is a brave artist who decides to take on some of the most iconic songs, from some of the best artists of the last 65 years of rock and roll music. But it is equally a clever move to perform such songs, and do it with feeling for the original, understanding of the song and respect for the audience.
This tour will impress both the seasoned Hanson fan and the music lover open to new representations of classics.
On every tour since 98, Hanson have made intriguing choices in selecting songs from other artists.
From Gimme Some Lovin  to Optimistic  and Too Much Heaven , they have shown that they are comfortable with the well known, the provocative and the harmonious, from both rock legends and pop royalty.
Hanson cover other people’s music with a sensitive touch, whilst bringing something unique to the rendition. Maybe they just choose wisely, but then this only serves to underline their appreciation of a breadth of genres, as well as their own capabilities. Whatever it is that leads them, the outcome is always inspired and interesting.
CSNY fans would find it hard to judge Teach Your Children harshly, with its clear and precise vocals and super blended harmony. And whatever Bill Withers has written, Hanson is able to bring out the heart and soul while staying true to the simplicity of style of the man who sang and played it first. A recent performance of Lean On Me, from a Hanson.net live stream, had over 25,000 views on social media in just a couple of days and as many pleas from fans to include this one on the tour.
The Roots part of this tour is bound to throw up a few surprises. Hanson have covered some current commercial pop and on the TTA tour they dug deep into the blues rock of Hendrix and Joplin.
Come September, Hanson will begin rehearsals for the tour and make final decisions about songs to include in both shows, at some point across the USA. Then in October Hanson will travel from Chicago to New York, to New Orleans and on to San Francisco via six other cites that they describe as favourites, taking their unique musical experience with them.
Ten cities, two nights, two concerts, walks, after parties and that special ingredient which spontaneously erupts once Hanson walk on stage.
“You see, rock and roll isn’t a career or hobby – its a life force. It’s something very essential”. This quote from U2’s The Edge, captures what Hanson and their fans realise, that their music experience goes beyond making a living or finding a pastime. It celebrates and expresses identity and the love of being alive, of being on a journey and of being human.
Whilst the actual content of this tour remains vague, Hanson promise to bring to the fore fan favourites that have been previously underplayed and compose unusual arrangements for standards on the set list.
What is certain is that the final, complete set list for the Roots and Rock N Roll Tour will reflect the essence of American music and bring together gospel, blues, soul, funk, a touch of country and pop.
One of Hanson’s earliest songs, River, talks about not knowing where the river flows to, yet there is a river that flows from the North to the South and on this tour, Hanson will cross and follow its path. The Mississippi has always been a highway for musicians and ideas, connecting people and transporting influences. It provides a good metaphor for the melting pot that is American music and the deep roots from which Hanson draw their sustenance, strength and inspiration.
“You know there is this place where a river runs into an ocean and the fresh water and the salt water all get mixed in together. And that’s what America is about and that’s what American music is about and that’s what rock and roll is about. It actually wasn’t invented by anybody and it’s not just black and white either. It’s Mexican and Appalachian and Gaelic and everything that’s come floating down the river”.
The Roots and Rock N Roll Tour begins on Wednesday 7th October and finishes Wednesday 4th November.
Find Tickets at www.hanson.net/tours-events
|Wed 7 & Thu 8 Oct||Chicago IL||House Of Blues|
|Sat 10 & Sun 11 Oct||Toronto ON||Phoenix Concert Theatre|
|Tue 13 & Wed 14 Oct||Cleveland OH||House Of Blues|
|Fri 16 & Sat 17 Oct||New York NY||Irving Plaza SOLD OUT|
|Mon 19 & Tue 20 Oct||Atlanta GA||Centre Stage|
|Thu 22 & Fri 23 Oct||New Orleans LA||House Of Blues|
|Sat 24 & Sun 25 Oct||Dallas TX||House Of Blues|
|Thu 29 & Fri 30 Oct||Portland OR||Hawthorne Theatre|
|Sun 1 & Mon 2 Nov||Los Angeles CA||The Fonda Theatre|
|Tue 3 & Wed 4 Nov||San Francisco CA||The Fillmore|