Jason Hanley seems laid back and mellow but what he can do with a guitar is a bit more complicated. His style is rooted in jazz and blues. His sound ranges from funk to outright rage. 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. His compositions move live audiences to laugh, cry and get mad when getting mad matters.
Then there’s his dreamy, mellifluous side that just lets you relax into an easy groove. “Music ain’t just about hearing with your ears,” Hanley explains. “Your whole body is a receptor. I compare it to a painter’s palette. The more colors the painter has available, the more he or she can paint what’s deep down inside.”
Whether playing solo or with his collective, SOUNDPROOF, Hanley adjusts his repertoire to suit the gig. His group gives their all, and audiences find relief from the humdrum repetitions of the daily grind. Hanley was born in Detroit, Michigan and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina where he began playing guitar at fifteen. Although in college Hanley studied jazz, his influences range from the social commentary of Bob Dylan to the joyful wailing of personal pain that we call the blues. He has now lived in Lake Worth, Florida for the past 12 years.
A genre bending, risk taker, Hanley is proof that deeply talented, down home musicians are a real force in the United States.
Evenings at the Council concerts are free and open to the public.