Some compelling albums across a wide spectrum have inspired Grand Rapids singer Hannah Rose Graves, who also reveals her current penchant for Nashville darling Margo Price.
EDITOR’S NOTE: All musicians can trace their inspiration to key recordings that captivated them and influenced their own music. Writer Ross Boissoneau today showcases albums that changed the world for Grand Rapids singer Hannah Rose Graves. Scroll down for a Spotify playlist of her picks, plus two tracks of her own.
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Hannah Rose Graves has been a mainstay when it comes to Grand Rapids’ music scene, from fronting Hannah Rose & The GravesTones to her current role in the Benzing Graves Collective with fellow singer-songwriter Austin Benzing (more on that below) and a revolving cast of other talented musicians.
Also active as a solo artist, Graves musically treads across several genres: country, blues, Americana, rock, funk. Her music has been played on radio stations across the state, and she’s has been nominated for six Jammie Awards by Grand Rapids radio station WYCE-FM. She’s also featured in the 2022 Local Spins Calendar (for February), available online here.
1. Modest Mouse, “Good News for People Who Like Bad News” (2004) – This was the first full album I remember changing my life in a positive way. I was in high school. For me, there are certain albums that from beginning to end are masterpieces: every note, every lyric, every instrument has a place. It blew my mind how everything tied together. The first three notes, the horns are blaring. It hooks you; you wonder what’s about to happen. From there, (you hear) every instrument under the sun. Every song surprises you, takes you on a journey. Every song has a different vibe. I was doing blues and realized you could do anything. It’s a challenge to learn it all to become versatile.
Listen: “Float On”
2. Janelle Monae, “Dirty Computer” (2018) – This is from 2018. I was really coming into my womanhood. It empowered me as a woman. It’s the voice of a generation. It covers all topics – political, environmental. It addresses the harder issues. Like Modest Mouse, it blew my mind. It had all the influences of black culture: Aretha, Etta James, and she worked with Prince.
Listen: “Dirty Computer”
3. Austin Benzing, “Steady Your Nerves” (2021) – He’s a local artist (and her bandmate, as above). The common theme with all three (of these) is stepping outside the box, being true to yourself. It’s 100 percent authentic. You can hear all his influences, the story of his life. It covers all genres – country-western, rock and roll, metal, and ties it together with his unique sound.
Listen: “Steady Your Nerves”
Currently Loving: Margo Price, “Midwest Farmers Daughter” (2016) – The song, “Four Years of Chances.” It’s the Nashville sound that is most appealing. It’s steeped in Southern country, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline. I learn a lot when I listen to it, and feel a lot.
Listen: “Four Years of Chances”
ALBUMS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD: Hannah Rose Graves’ Playlist on Spotify
Copyright 2021, Spins on Music LLC