Monday, January 12, 2015

CD: HANK SASAKI - Heartbreak and Tears

Heartbreak and Tears
Deep Water - Before My Time - Lost & Lonely - Lonesome 77203 - 1953 - My Sweet Love Ain't Around - You Don't Have Very Far To Go - Stories In A Tear - Here I Am Drunk Again - Tomorrow Never Comes - Soft Rain - My Old Kentucky I Miss You Tonight - Adios Sayonara - Kimino Hitomino Nakani
Hank Sasaki began his romance with country music while still a young boy growing up in Japan.  His first idol being Hank Williams, Sr.  Today he makes his home near Nashville, and still writes and sings classic and traditional country music.  He came to our festival in LeMars, Iowa, in 2014 to be inducted into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame, and those that got to see him perform continue to tell me today what a treat it was to hear this very unique and distinguished voice singing their favorite classic country songs.  The opening song on this CD "Deep Water" uses an incredibly gifted Dobro player and a fiddler too.  Both of these instruments have nearly evaporated from today's top-40 country music, making it very much a non-country musical effort.  Hank's efforts however are the real-deal.  He has a very distinguished voice, very identifiable the instant you hear it, also very unlike today's top-40 so-called country music artists who all sound alike. Hank also has that 'touch' of real country that brings him to dedicate his work to loved ones.  He doesn't pause a moment in making it clear he still has the passion for real country music, both singing and songwriting.  He wrote six of the songs on this CD, and they hold up really well besides the classic hits he also recorded.  As I write this, on the Internet is a demonstration of what songwriters in Nashville are doing these days.  On this album Hank wrote six very different songs, all with different melodies, tempo, timing, chords, everything, six very different songs.  The Internet demonstration is how a writer used the same melody, the same key, the same backing tracks for six songs with only different words for six different artists.  Wow, that isn't what Hank Sasaki is about that's for sure.  This is a very well produced album, with some of that great Hank Williams backing sound. "My Sweet Love Ain't Around" is especially good.  The steel is especially good on this Hank Williams original.  I'm forwarding this CD to the Rural Roots Music Commission, see if they like it as much as I do.  Good CD completely well done, the mix is excellent, Hank's voice is right out front where it needs to be, not buried in the mix.  Good 'country' musicians backing all the way through, though we do not know who they are.  This one gets five stars.
for Country Music News International Magazine
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