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Home Routes paves the way west for Ottawa singer

Posted on February 26, 2024 by admin
Westwind Weekly News Photo submitted

By Cal Braid
Southern Alberta Newspapers
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A Winnipeg based non-profit organization called Home Routes was created in 2007 to champion artists and volunteer concert hosts in communities from coast to coast. Initiated by the founders of the Winnipeg Folk Festival and the West End Cultural Centre, it has grown into a group of almost 200, who each host six shows a year in houses and small halls in their communities. The group was originally funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, and organizations like the Manitoba Arts Council, Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage, FACTOR, and the SOCAN Foundation have all contributed to its success.

Ottawa singer-songwriter Lynne Hanson is a well-travelled artist who is a part of the Home Routes network, and her next concert route will land in Raymond and Coaldale on March 1 and 2. She’s had a prolific 17-year solo career, and with nine studio albums and two poetry books to her credit. Now she’s hitting the road for 12 dates in southern Alberta and southeastern B.C. Hanson is a Home Routes veteran and her music has paved the way for tours of North America, Europe, and the U.K.

“I’m a full-time musician. If you look at my schedule, I’d better be,” she said with a laugh. Her music career began when she was still working a government job and playing rhythm guitar and singing harmony with a former partner. “I did that for about five years, but then we split up so I started writing sad songs,” she said. “People liked the music and it just grew on its own organically. I just keep making records because people keep supporting it. I figure I’ll stop when people stop paying attention.”

Hanson’s stylings lean bluesy and rootsy. Whether she’s playing with a band, a trio, or going solo, her music is memorable and relatable; more than just a collection of the sad songs that were her first musical self-expressions.

She said she truly enjoys songwriting, and the performing and recording aspects of her trade are compelling in different ways. “I’ve certainly been told that I’m pretty genuine and authentic on stage. When you’re able to be yourself and people find that entertaining, I think that’s really the sweet spot in terms of being a live performer.” She has a sense of humour that comes naturally to her, and that lends itself well to connecting with an audience. “I don’t have to pretend to be something. I’m not ‘in character.’ I’m literally being myself,” she said. “I love comedy. I love making people laugh. Having a dry sense of humour and being able to make fun of things.”

The magic trick, “Is to make people cry with the song–and laugh at the story.”

Her next record, Just A Poet, is coming out in May. “My tenth. I’m stubborn,” she said with another laugh. As opposed to live performing, which she said creates a “feedback loop in real time,” recording is the “the song captured in its essence.” It’s about presenting the song in its best form.

The Home Routes concerts are available by reserving a ticket through the online portal. To hear and see Hanson’s music and videos, check out her website:

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