Trial Balloon

David Hanners & Songs About Towns

Posted at 6:00 AM on January 30, 2010 by Dale Connelly (4 Comments)
Filed under: Saturdays

Tonight on Radio Heartland on Minnesota Public Radio News stations I'll visit with St. Paul Pioneer Press writer David Hanners, who is also a singer/songwriter with a new recording, "The Traveler's Burden". Hanners is originally from Illinois and not surprisingly he draws inspiration from the news and historical research when crafting his songs. He quotes Woody Guthrie's collaborator, Cisco Houston, when asked about the connection between his two lines of work:

David Hanners 2.jpg

"A folk song is a way of singing out the news -- of a wedding, a murder, good times or bad, good people or bad. It is one way of making a record of memorable things that happened. In the days before newspapers, and among people who could not have read them even if they had existed, the folk song was a kind of chronicle and running commentary on the times. Many folk songs have lived for hundreds of years, while nothing is more dead than yesterday's newspaper."

In the second hour, I'll dig into the library for songs of place - specifically songs about towns, named and unnamed. This is a musical thread that can be followed as long as one cares to chase it. Songwriters always see another town on the horizon or are happy to be leaving one in the rearview mirror. Or both. We'll visit musical representations of Chicago, Atlanta, Tulsa, Birmingham, Petaluma and Red Wing, just to name a few.

This show will be repeated online at radioheartland.org and on digital radio in the Twin Cities (91.1 HD2) on Sunday at noon, and Monday at 6pm.


Comments (4)

I know there are too many variables to determine a cause and that my Internet connection might be the problem, but I can't get a RH stream again this morning. I didn't even get the Bursch Travel ad when I tried to connect.

Posted by Ken in Northfield | January 30, 2010 8:39 AM


Hi Ken,

Thanks for writing! I know people have been having problems with the stream this week. I just tried my connection and it seems to be working OK at 11:30 am.

Anyone else having difficulties today?

Posted by Dale Connelly | January 30, 2010 11:29 AM


At the moment the direct access is connecting. Earlier I had to go to Windows media player to get it. But I am going to use that from now on I think. I can get it that way all of the time and it is much more stable.

Posted by Clyde in Mankato | January 30, 2010 12:47 PM


We had to use Windows Media today as well. Somethin's up!

Posted by fan in sw minn. | January 30, 2010 3:38 PM


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