Eric Hanke Sets New Album Release

02/14/2011
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Americana singer and songwriter Eric Hanke has set an April 12 release date for his new CD, Factory Man.

Factory Man was produced by Hanke's friend and bandmate, Merel Bregante, who gained fame drumming for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Loggins & Messina. Bregante also produced Hanke's debut album, Autumn Blues, which was released in 2006 and signaled the arrival of a new songwriter who drew comparisons to some of the best the Lone Star State has to offer. Bregante also added his drum work to the new CD, along with such other standout players as Bregante's wife, singer Sarah Pierce; guitarist Kenny Grimes; keyboardist Riley Osbourn; and steel player Cindy Cashdollar.

Factory Man is pure Americana music, populated by tales of the hopes, fears and dreams of blue-collar characters all drawn from Hanke's life experiences (he was born in Michigan and moved to Dallas at the age of two), and punctuated with his soaring tenor voice. The title track personifies his approach to writing honest, true-to-life songs that will resonate with everyone.

"It's a workingman's tune," says Hanke. "On the back of the album, there's a picture of my grandfather when he was 17 years old in Germany, when he got his apprenticeship as a tool-and-die maker." His grandfather immigrated to the U.S. and like so many of his generation, spent most of his life working at one plant.

"That song is about when that place, after so many years, was closing down and outsourcing all of the jobs to China and Brazil," explains Hanke. "At the time, I wrote it about that one place in particular, but it became about unemployment in general and the hard economic times people are going through."

Factory Man rocks a little harder than his last album and contains elements of blues, country, soul, rock and folk, with songwriting influences ranging from Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Townes Van Zandt. Other songs run the gamut from the honky-tonk favorite in-waiting opening track, "It Ain't Really Love;" the wistful "Hope Your Dreams Come True;" the funky "Mr. Slim's Blues;" and the biting "Burn It Down" (inspired by the small-mindedness in the Texas town of his girlfriend); to the raucous "East Side Blues;" and the bittersweet closer, "No More Tears."

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