HANNAH HARBER & THE LIONHEARTS
They are a raucous Americana band of Lionhearts, delivering songs that are honest in their aching and hopeful in their vulnerability. Whether it’s groove-laden, fuzzy rock and roll, or gentle melodies with country sensibilities, their synergy is raw and tangible. They’ve tapped into a magic that speaks of their dedication to their songs and to each other.
Dear Lord, Hannah Harber is a godsend…Harber harnessed what felt like every ounce of the already existent country and rock inside of her and then amplified it tenfold during a set (at Gasparilla Music Fest) that was nearly tantamount to getting struck by lightning.Ray Roa, Creative Loafing Tampa 2019
A Florida native, Hannah Harber is deeply inspired by the community, the land, and the waterways of home. “Most often, songs come on long drives between my hometown of High Springs, and my current home in Sanford. There’s something about driving backroads, through cow fields and alongside freshwater springs that really stirs my spirit,” Hannah says. “This music may have been born in the rural south, but I hesitate to call what we’re doing “country”. I’m grateful for the rise of the term “americana” as far as genre classification goes. In all transparency, I see the need for these classifications for marketing purposes, but I don’t feel the need to stay inside of any of them. Hoping something will be received well isn’t my motivation for creating it. I just want to tell the truth. The truth of my doubt, of my anger, of my joy, of the deconstruction and reconstruction of my faith, of my experience of motherhood. Sometimes that truth is sonically heavy, and others it’s acoustic and bare. ”
Like good salt on sugar, time has given her intrinsic grace some edge and steel… Somewhere along the way, this voice has ripened into one of the sharpest, most cogent roots presences in the city.Bao Le-Huu, Orlando Weekly 2018
While a lot of musicians tell stories of pursuing their craft with relentless passion from an early age, Hannah will say that she tried her hand at almost everything else before knowing songwriting was her true aim. There was musical theater and church choir in her youth, but there was also travel volleyball and Student Government. The daughter of a musician, there was constant opportunity for songs and songwriting in her childhood home, but it wasn’t until her early teens that Hannah first picked up a guitar.
“When I first started playing, it was almost always behind my closed bedroom door because I was trying to write my own songs. The only place I’d play in front of anyone was at church, or sitting in with a local country cover band. Of course there were pipe dreams of big stages, but there wasn’t anyone in my life that I saw making a living as a musician. It wasn’t clear to me that the songs I was writing, that sounded nothing like the ones folks wanted to hear in local bars, might be worth pursuing. Two things inevitably changed that…My dad buying me Patty Griffin’s discography and New Orleans, Louisiana.”
After graduating from the University of Florida, Hannah took a job with American Red Cross in their New Orleans chapter. “The job was short-lived, but New Orleans will always feel like home in my spirit. I took my first solo gig ever, playing my own songs and some covers, entirely by chance on Halloween weekend, 2011. My friend was the manager of a patio bar that unfortunately is no longer around. I was sitting at the bar with her when her musician for the night called to cancel. She turned to me and basically said, “You can do this right?” and that was that. I didn’t know that I could do it, but I said yes. I got myself a standing gig. When I decided to move back to Florida, I knew it would be to make music full-time, no matter what that looked like. Sometimes it’s meant retail day jobs, or bartending on nights I don’t have gigs, or playing cover songs in a restaurant, but I’m so truly grateful that it’s also meant a dedication to writing the songs of my spirit and playing them on stages with humans I love.”
“I just hope that when people leave a Lionhearts show, they feel certain that we were honest. Each note played, each movement of our bodies, each story shared…not calculated or contrived, not technically perfect, but meant. Each of the songs we play tell the truth as I’ve found it, or as it’s come to me. Be it playful or serious. Be it true to my story or an observer’s truth of someone else’s story. My songs are the byproduct of wrestling with my humanity in order to find my true self and see the inherent beauty and worth of all that surrounds me. There is a recognition of longing and an unbridled hope that all will be redeemed. It’s also ridiculously fun…have I said that yet?”
Hannah Harber & The Lionhearts make their home in central Florida and have supported acts like Margo Price, American Aquarium, JJ Grey, Jim Lauderdale, and Larkin Poe. Their debut record, Long Time Coming, released on January 9, 2019, peaking at number 16 on the iTunes Country chart.