The Traveler's Burden

One of the downfalls of receiving ten or twenty discs a week for review is that, invariably, a few slip through the cracks and I simply CAN'T find them! Such was the case with singer/songwriter/multi-in

strumentalist David Hanners' latest, The Traveler's Burden. Much like many of the characters which wend their ways through his folks-y, true-blue American tunes, the work eventually made it through whatever wormhole it had hitched off to and back into my stack of albums for review. I can't tell you how happy it did. Hanners sings with a whiskey-soaked voice that more than hints at the truths in his tales- traveler's tales. Hanners is the real deal, a man who's lived through both the best and the worst in life and isn't afraid to lay it all down for you to share in. The topic matter isn't hackneyed, either- sure, there are are a few of these characters who may have lived through the times and experiences many of his peers eke out a living rehashing, but the difference with Hanners is that, when he chooses, he takes those tales (and those characters) into a modern setting- proving his knowledge that folks somewhere, someday, will want to hear of that fabled traveler's past in this style- he plays guitar and mandolin and includes harmonica, old-style bass, cello, fiddle, and oud amongst his repertoire of musical weaponry. It's been said before, but this really is an album you have to hear to appreciate, and Hanners isn't shy about revealing what The Traveler's Burden really is- it's sharing those experiences, recreating those characters, and reliving the experiences that made him the man and musician he is today. It isn't easy, being the one to craft events and recreate moments many would like to forget in their times, but Hanners proudly shrugs into the role and puts an undeniable boulder of Truth in every tale he tells. I can only imagine the spiritual power left behind onstage after he plays a fiery, to-the-bone set of these traveler's tales. Highly recommended. Hear a bit of this undeniable reality for yourself at www.americansongspace.com or catch a glimpse from the comfort of your digs at www.youtube.com/dhanners23

Tom Hallett
Round The Dial magazine - May 2010