From last week’s news in Williamsport….

Folk singer-songwriter Hannah Bingman releases new album

December 19, 2013
By SIMONE BROWN РSun-Gazette Correspondent , Williamsport Sun-Gazette
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Singer-songwriter Hannah Bingman, a regular performer in the area who hails from Huntingdon, has just released her newest folk album, “Loam.” Bingman also will visit the Bullfrog Brewery, 229 W. Fourth St., in February to perform songs from her new album.

No stranger to music, Bingman said in an email interview with the Sun-Gazette that her introduction to music occurred when she was “16 years old and after picking up the guitar when I was 13, I had a bunch of songs I’d written. I happened to catch a performance by Bruce Barr at a street fair in Selinsgrove. He took me under his wing and got me to play an open mic at a place called The Pepper Tree not longer after that. The reaction of the crowd was really positive, and I remember thinking ‘I wouldn’t mind doing that again.’ ”

While Bingman’s melodies follow more of the folk genre, her personal music taste has variety.

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“Pop radio caught my ear when I was a little kid but I was 13 when I first really took notice of the Beatles. Analyzing their albums taught me a lot about song structure, chord progressions, melody lines and the concept of making an album as a whole piece of art.

“I traced the Beatles to the blues, to American folk and roots, Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, Billie Holiday and into jazz,” Bingman said. “I’d like to think everything that I listen to has some kind of influence, whether it be the songwriting, guitar work or arrangements. But to be honest, right now, I’ve been listening to some early ’90s Bonnie Raitt and Nicki Minaj’s first album.”

Bingman also performs at times with local musician Doug McMinn.

“We played in a lot of the same circles. I bugged him about old blues styles and asked him to show me some slide tunes. A few years ago we started putting some songs together and here we still are. We play originals and roots music, Americana, blues and some jazz.”

Bingman said the pair have not yet made an album together, but McMinn did play a large role in adding clarinet to several tracks on “Loam.”

As a personal songwriter, Bingman said of her lyrics, “Most would say [they focus on] universal themes. Whatever I’m reading or going through at the time usually makes its way to the lyrics in some part. [This includes] relationships, faith, politics and a lot of agricultural themes as of late.”

Hailing from such a small town, Bingman has not played many larger venues during her musical career, but said she has been fortunate enough to perform at venues such as Tin Angel in Philadelphia, Rosewood Theatre in Morgantown, W.Va. and the State Theatre in State College.

Bingman said her new album “includes a lot of songs that I’ve been playing for the past few years but with some great musicians joining me for the studio arrangements, Doug McMinn, Kimbo Reichley, Joel Vincent, Nell Hanssen and my mother!”

She added, ” ‘Mustard Seed’ is a song I wrote for my niece when she was born and that will always be one of my favorites. I think I’m the happiest with how ‘Heart on Fire’ turned out. It’s exactly how I heard it in my head.”

In the future, Bingman said that she hopes to always have a hand in the music scene.

“I’d like to think I’ll always be involved in the creation of music in some way. I know I could stop playing and feel proud of what I’ve left behind for my niece and nephew to hold onto and pass along. When making music starts to become a negative, that’s when I stop, but I don’t see that happening any time soon,” Bingman said.

“Loam” can be purchased from Itunes, from, or from performance from Bingman herself.

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