While he seems laid back and mellow, what Jason Hanley can do with a guitar is a bit more complicated. With a style rooted in jazz and blues, his lyrics can polish loss until it glows, make a programmed population think, and even plunge us into wells of compassion just when we thought we’d never care again.
“Music isn’t just about hearing with your ears,” Hanley explained. “Your whole body is a receptor. I compare it to a painter’s pallet. The more colors the painter has available, the more he or she can paint what’s deep down inside.”
When not performing, Hanley composes in his studio or records other artists. He has lived in Lake Worth, Florida for the past 12 years, but born in Detroit, Michigan and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina where he began playing guitar at 15. Although in college Hanley studied jazz, the ultimate American art form, his influences range from the social commentary of Bob Dylan to the joyful wailing of personal pain called the blues.