Nothing Town

When frustrated but optimistic liberals talk about the great, earnest music spawned by eras of political depression, they mean songs like "Nothing Town." As the fed-up balladeer singing about economic failure and layoffs, David Hanners bears more than a passing resemblance to Neil Young. Throw in diatribes against Wal-Mart and police brutality and you'd swear they must have worked on a grassroots campaign together somewhere along the way.

For the most part, however, Hanners sticks to less political but thoroughly small-town topics: problems with the bottle, long drives spent thinking about a woman and a community incapable of change. Of course, the church is also an inescapable topic and here Hanners covers the familiar hymn "What a Friend" as effortlessly as Johnny Cash or Merle Haggard. By the end of the last track, "Nothing Town" is an ironically tangible place where a $7 haircut is a bit pricey and the best that you can hope for is to wind up "somewhere between the damned and blessed."

Lindsey Thomas, Rift Magazine
Oct/Nov 2004