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Entertainment News

Sunday, 7 February, 2010 1:20 PM

CMA New Artist Spotlight: 'Greg Hanna'

Photo by Tony Phipps

Greg Hanna

By Bob Doerschuk
© 2010 CMA Close Up News Service

A self-styled “Northern Hillbilly,” Greg Hanna is indisputably from the North — specifically, from eastern Ontario, Canada. But he’s also as Country as they come, having been raised on a dairy farm near Finch, a community of around 400 neighbors and friends. Family values were central to his upbringing; so was a willingness to work hard and, in Hanna’s case, a talent for writing and playing Country songs.

After lofting “Ain’t No Justice in Love” into the Canadian Top 10 in 1999, Hanna moved down to Nashville the following year. His intense vocals and dynamic stage presence raised his local profile quickly; he was even offered a berth in the third season of “Nashville Star” until conflict issues arose due to his contract with Combustion Entertainment. Still, he continued to chart in Canada and make connections in Music City, leading to his signing with Buddy Lee Attractions.

With a lineup of producers that includes Buddy Cannon, Chris Farren, David Kalmusky, Kim Tribble and Hanna, this self-titled U.S. debut album, released on his own Pheromone Records imprint and distributed by Megaforce and Sony, is unified by Hanna’s infectious performance. There’s a conversational essence to his delivery even when it rides a challenging melody, as on “In Between Dreams,” by Hanna, Brad Mates of Emerson Drive and Shane Minor, one of Hanna’s eight co-writes among these 11 songs.

Energetic on the up-tempo rockers, earnest and sincere on ballads, he targets the midpoint between these extremes on his single, “It’s a Man’s Job.” Written by Ashley Gorley, Wade Kirby and Tribble, it lays down a swaggering beat that gives Hanna the foundation he needs to bring the toughness, romance and humor of the lyric home in one irresistible package.

IN HIS OWN WORDS Q&A

MUSICAL HERO
“Buck Owens.”

DREAM DUET PARTNER
“Dwight Yoakam.”

SONG YOU’D LOVE TO COVER
“‘He Stopped Loving Her Today.’”

FAVORITE FOOD ON THE ROAD
“Bacon and eggs for breakfast.”

MOMENT YOU’D LOVE TO RELIVE
“The day I got married, I sang to my wife as she walked down the aisle.”

TITLE OF YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY
“When You Believe, Everything Is Possible.”

SONG YOU SING IN THE SHOWER
“Usually classic Country.”

PET PEEVE
“When someone tells me ‘yes,’ but doesn't deliver on their promise.”

PHRASE YOU SAY ALL THE TIME
"Well, there you go.”

PREFERRED METHOD OF TRANSPORTATION
“Pickup truck.”

On the Web: www.GregHanna.com

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