Tether My Heart was produced by renowned bluegrass musician, Andrew Collins (Foggy Hogtown Boys, Chris Coole, AnnieLou). It features musicians Emily Adam, Trent Freeman, Ken Whiteley, Rachel Melas, Rosalyn Dennet, and Hannah's father, Arnie Naiman, and her mother, Kathy Reid-Naiman.
1.“Married Soldier” tells the classic tale, set one mid-may morning, of a woman in love with a stranger, only to find that he returns her affection, but is a married man
2.“Little Fox” is a fiddle tune featuring a story of a gambling man and a curious fox. This song was inspired by the sight of a bold fox at Hannah's family cottage in Restoule, Ontario.
3.“Looking For My Own” laments the buffoonery of bachelorhood, and the lauds whiskey's soothing capacity.
4.“Tether My Heart” the title track of this album, is the tragic story of a lady faithfully waiting for her lover, though he is lost at sea.
5. "Same Old Song” is a tongue-in-cheek nod to the themes of appalachian folk music, and their inevitable repetition.
6. "Willow” presents a cautionary tale to young ladies in the spring.
7. “Home (Erik & Annie's Love Song)” is a song written for one of Hannah's best childhood friends to celebrate his commitment to the love of his life, and is Hannah's best attempt at a happy love song.
8. “Tekakwitha” is one of Hannah's earliest songs, and came about after reading “Beautiful Losers” by Leonard Cohen. Catherine Tekakwitha was an Algonquin-Mohawk virgin who became a Roman Catholic Saint.
9. “The Way To Go Home” was written for Hannah's piano playing grandfather who, after his stroke, could not speak, but could sing any old war song on demand.
10. “I'm Going To Find My Joy” is a catchy accapella number, featuring percussive footwork by Matthew Olwell. It is an ode to the end of a relationship gone sour.
11. “Kentucky” sings to the hills- it is a song about heading south to the mountains, where everything feels right and good.
HANNAH SHIRA NAIMAN RELEASES DEBUT ALBUM TETHER MY HEART
Original Appalachian Roots Music.
Songs not from the mountains, but from a rocky, rugged place.
Toronto, ON - Having grown up surrounded by her musical family, immersed in the sounds of clawhammer banjo and appalachian ballads, Hannah harvested the sounds and themes of this music in her bones and in her heart. Tether My Heart (Merriweather Records Ltd.) marks Hannah Shira Naiman's entrance to the stage as a songwriter, but is a testament to her deep roots in the old-time appalachian genre. Hannah's songs “are a little bit crooked, a little bit new.” Her sound is reminiscent of Gillian Welch and The Be Good Tanyas, and inspired by Ola Belle Reed and Hazel Dickens. While Hannah’s style is decidedly Appalachian folk, she’s also influenced by styles outside the genre, such as English and Irish ballads, African spirituals and gospel music, as well as the pop and indie music that inspired her early songwriting-- Leslie Feist, Ani Difranco, and other strong female songwriters. “I think these inspirations come through in my lyrics, and in my chord changes, and my musical choices in general,” she says.
Review fROOTSt Magazine
Tether My Heart Merriweather MH 131
"From Canada, let me introduce a young exciting talent. Think Diana Jones, think Gillian Welch. Hannah has a relaxing voice that she accompanies on this recording with tasty oldtime banjo. The songs, all original, could easily be taken as being traditional, such is her mastery of the genre. Right from opening Married Soldier I was captivated. Moving through a minor key ballad, Looking For My Own, to the bouncy and jaunty Same Old Song to the unaccompanied I’m Going To Find My Joy the music never lacks variety. Another song, Willow, has a fine three-part harmony on the chorus, and is supported throughout by excellent fiddle, banjo and guitar, and is shortly followed by The Way To Go Home which borrows the chorus of the well-known song to construct another first class original song. There is not a weak moment on this recording which never strays too far from the traditions of old-time country music. Well recorded, with vocals up front and exactly the right amount of instrumental support."
“Having seen Hannah grow up surrounded by old-time music, it doesn't surprise me that she's developed such a good command of the fiddle and banjo, but her ability to incorporate that trad foundation into her original music will be an unexpected treat for anyone willing to listen." - Chris Coole, Foggy Hogtown Boys
Hannah's songwriting is “honest and creative and authentic- and [her] singing is ffantastic - AnnieLou, Canadian singer-songwriter
“In an age when you can layer as many instruments as you like in the studio, it’s refreshing to hear a debut EP as naked as the Blackest Crow’s. On it, Hannah Naiman and Emily Adam harmonize a cappella on traditional songs and originals that sound almost as classic...their voices floating together in close harmonies perfect for early mornings or late nights. ...Callum is a standout original. Here’s hoping for a longer follow-up that incorporates Naiman’s banjo and Adam’s cello.”
- Sarah Greene, NOW Magazine
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