How many of us have friends who would pony up $1,000 to help us with a personal endeavor? How many of us know dozens of people who would contribute their time, energy and talents to help bring a magical project to fruition? Obviously, these sorts of people exist in the world of Kathleen Hannan, and their faith in her music is a testament to her power to unite a wide variety of people through her musical gifts.
In her latest disc, Count My Heart, Hannan espouses her views on environmentalism, equality issues and community. An abbreviated version of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" segues into the polyrhythmic "Drums of Africa" featuring a cadre of drummers in a loping, melodic reproach of slavery and its repercussions. "If You've Ever Loved" addresses the hypocrisy of Christians who condemn same-sex relationships by stating: "You think that God speaks only to you/Well God speaks to me too ... So when you listen with your heart you'll understand/If you've ever loved a woman, if you've ever loved a man." In the fable, "Stone Soup," a stranger wanders into town and tells of his recipe for a fantastic stew that requires only a stone and a boiling pot of water. However, he manages to convince the entire community to contribute ingredients and creates a fantastic meal for everyone to share. On Count My Heart, Kathleen Hannan started with a simple stone and--with the addition of many varied flavors--has created a delicious musical dish.